Brian Roper, head baseball coach at Blinn College for the past eight years, has decided to step down as coach and take a full-time teaching position on the college's Bryan campus, athletic director Greg Hinze has announced.
Roper came to Blinn in December 1999 from Howard College in Big Spring were he coached for eight seasons and had a 268-119-1 record.
"This is a decision I've made because of my family," said Roper. "When my wife was diagnosed with cancer I started thinking about the time I've had to spend away from her and the kids because of baseball."
Roper and his wife Karla, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2005, have three children -- Emily, Brady and Trevor.
"I look forward to a lot more family-focused time."
Roper is also looking forward to his classroom career. He has taught health and kinesiology lecture classes on the Brenham campus along with his coaching duties during his entire tenure.
"I have always enjoyed teaching and I'm excited about getting into the classroom full time," he said.
During his time at Blinn, Roper had a 294-144 record. He reached his 500th career win in March 2006. During his career he has coached four All Americans and 17 Academic All Americans. His teams participated in the regional playoffs 13 years.
“Brian Roper is one of the finest, most upstanding individuals of character and integrity that I have ever met," said Hinze. "His impact on the lives of the young men in our baseball program was far greater than any won-loss record could ever indicate.
"But Blinn students will continue to benefit from his expertise, knowledge and ethics with his decision to enter the full-time teaching ranks. I wish him nothing but the best in his new endeavor.”
A graduate of Bellaire High School, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Tech University where he was a three-year starter at catcher and team captain for the Red Raiders.
"Brian is a class guy," said Roper's colleague Craig McMurtry, head coach at Temple College. "He's a good person and his faith is very important to him.
"The respect he's received as a coach I think is a by-product of how he handles himself in that regard."
Roper's coaching contract ends June 30. A search for Roper's replacement will begin as soon as possible.