Pasadena Roundup: Mavs' Morgan steps down
After 36 years in the game, primarily with Pasadena ISD, Pasadena Memorial baseball coach Mike Morgan opted for retirement last month.
The 59-year-old coaching veteran decided soon after the season ended that this would be his final year. He cited on-going health issues and the recent death of his mother, Jimmie Morgan, as factors.
But mostly, he just wanted to enjoy some well-deserved time off.
"I've always thought that it's kind of sad that a lot of people work their entire life, and then when they retire, it's like six months later they're in the hospital and they're fighting for their life, all that kind of stuff," Morgan said.
"I just turned 59, and I don't plan on passing away, but you never know what will happen."
Morgan certainly didn't expect his mom to pass so quickly after his retirement. The Deer Park native died three weeks ago of a heart attack at age 79, and he's been dealing with the aftermath since.
Morgan spent more than a week in the hospital in May battling cellulitis in his left leg, a recurring problem since he beat cancer in 1983, forcing him to miss the end-of-the-year baseball banquet.
Despite numerous injuries that contributed to a slow start, the Mavericks returned to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus this past season, giving Morgan a fitting sendoff after a long career.
"When we started playing up to our potential, that was the main thing, and that's how we ended up doing as well as we did," Morgan said.
He guided the program through its infancy, from their first junior varsity-only season in 2004 through seven years of varsity play. The Mavs won two district titles and made the playoffs four times.
The Channelview native began his career at Beverly Hills Intermediate School in Pasadena, then moved to Dobie, where he became the head coach in 1981, leading the Longhorns to a district title his first year.
He also had head coaching stints at Sam Rayburn, where he won another district championship, and Karnes City before going to Memorial.
"The camaraderie and the friendship with all the other coaches, that's something you always love as a coach," Morgan said. "You'll always miss getting out there and being involved with kids."
Morgan's successor already is in place.
The job went to his assistant, Terry Garza, who was with Morgan from the program's inception.
"I'm ecstatic that he got the job," Morgan said. "I'm so happy for him.
"I don't think I really taught Terry Garza any baseball. He knew a lot of baseball. But I think I educated him on a lot of issues that you end up having to deal with as a head coach that you wish you really didn't have to coach somebody on.
"But I'm very happy for Terry and I think he's going to do a great job."
Millman, Matejka honored by NFCA
San Jacinto College-South softball players Shannon Millman and Megan Matejka recently earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association honors.
Millman, a pitcher from Pasadena Memorial, and Matejka, a Deer Park product, were named to the NFCA All-Midwest Region Team.
Millman, who also made NFCA third-team All-American, led the Coyotes with a 21-8 overall record this past season, with a 1.68 ERA and school-record 180 strikeouts in 200 innings of work.
Matejka, a second-team NFCA Midwest Region selection, posted a .319 batting average with 11 doubles and two home runs.
She also was named to the All-South Conference Team, took second-team All-Conference honors and first-team All-Region honors. Matejka plans to walk on a Sam Houston State next season.
Lady Mavs open hoop camp
The annual Pasadena Memorial girls basketball camp, which will be directed by new head coach Chris Gross, is set for Monday, July 11, through Thursday, July 14 at the high school's gym.
Gross, with nearly 20 years of coaching experience, has worked camps at the University of Texas, Rice and Baylor.
The camp is for incoming third- through ninth-graders and will run from 9 a.m. to noon each day. All campers receive a basketball and T-shirt.
Campers will enhance their familiarity with the fundamentals of basketball, compete in various competitions, go through strength and conditioning training and have fun with plenty of game action.
The cost is $60 per camper, in advance or at the door. Forms are available at the school's front desk. For more information, contact Gross at 832-414-5837 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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