Martin High School baseball coach hangs up his hat
LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - As baseball season comes to a close for some of our teams, one high school will be searching for a new head coach as a Tiger lifer steps away from the game after decades with baseball in his blood.
Earlier this season Jorge Tijerina Jr. knew the time had come.
He had told his team after a tournament that he’d be stepping down as the Tigers’ Head Coach.
“I want to get a chance to spend some time with my family, my parents, my daughter, my grandsons and hopefully still stay close to the Tiger baseball program is something I’d want to do,” said Tijerina.
The decision was far from an easy one though as his relationship with Tiger baseball goes back further than his coaching days, to when he was just a young boy in west Laredo.
“Back in 77, I use to be a student there at Christen Jr. High and I remember I couldn’t wait until the bell rung so I could go sit in the stands at the old west Martin Field and watch the Tigers play and I always dream of playing for the baseball team,” said Tijerina.
He’d get his chance to play at Martin and would impress many during his time with the Tigers, enough to earn a look at the next level where he first really started thinking about what was next and how he wanted baseball to be a part of that plan.
“I was fortunate enough to go on and play some college baseball and when I went on and played at St. Edwards University, I realized soon that I wasn’t going to be drafted, so my love of baseball drew me to the coaching profession,” said Tijerina.
Coaching would bring him back home to the Gateway City and after a few seasons at the helm of the United South program, Tijerina got the call he wanted, to take over at his alma mater.
Now 24 years later he’s ready to hand it off, knowing that even with the hardships that come at a school like Martin, he’s leaving it better than he found it.
“I’ve always been surrounded by kids that want to play hard, they want to give their best for you no matter what and I’d like to think that yes I did leave it in a better situation and that whoever comes in and replaces me will be able to take them to higher levels,” said Tijerina.
Coach Tijerina spent 24 years at Martin and another five with United South while with the Tigers he amassed 296 wins overall, made the playoffs eight times with three bi-district championships and two area championships, but countless number of lives mentored through the game.
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