After 26 years as Little Cypress-Mauriceville Head Baseball Coach, Steve Griffith has turned in his resignation.
Calling it a business move for him and his family, Griffith is playing the hand that is dealt with teacher retirement in Texas. He’ll be able to start receiving a retirement check, but after a year off from teaching in Texas, he would be eligible to return to teaching/coaching and receive a second check.
Or he could start teaching/coaching in Louisiana and after five years he would be eligible to receive retirement pay from across the river. Many educators in Texas have taken this route in the past.
“I have several options,” Griffith said. “But I’ll be staying close to home with my son Gage starting his sophomore year at LCM.” Griffith and his wife also owns a business in Orange.
This season Griffith won his 600th game and was the winningest coach among active Texas high school baseball coaches in Class 4A.
Griffith wanted to make sure the program was left in good hands and he has no doubt that his assistant coach Hunter Hagler (above) is the man to lead the Bears in the future. “Coach Hagler has been outstanding to have as an assistant coach, and I know he’ll be even a better head coach.”
Griffith has had many of his assistants go on to become head coaches. And former assistant Wayne Stephenson (below) was even named Assistant Coach of the Year in Class 4A by the Texas HS Baseball Coaches Association.
He also knows he’s not where he is without coaches who mentored him. “Yes there are several, especially Chuck Young,” Griffith said. Bridge City recently named their stadium after the longtime Cardinal/Texas City coach who passed away in 2017.
The Bears under Griffith advanced to the playoffs in 21 of 26 seasons with 19 of those playoff teams advancing to the second round. His 1996 team advanced to the 4A State Championship game and six teams played in the Region III Final.
The Bears have 76 playoff wins as a school. Griffith played in two of those games and coached in 70 of those victories.
Six Bears under Griffith’s tutelage were drafted by major league baseball and 101 were signed to play collegiately.
“It may be called retirement,” Griffith said. “But I’m not going to say I’ll never coach again.”
-Gary Stelly, KOGT-