The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas



Last updated 4/23/2019 at Noon

When you’re 74 years old and someone is looking for you, they would first check the golf course, a good fishing lake and then maybe the local domino parlor.

But if you are trying to locate Texas A&M’s most successful football coach in the school’s history, you would find Orange native R.C. Slocum right there in the same place where he posted a 123-47-2 record from 1989-2002 as the interim athletic director of the Aggies.

The position became open when athletic director Scott Woodward had a chance to take a similar position at LSU, his alma mater.

Slocum had trouble staying away from the football field and was seen on numerous occasions at the Aggies’ football practices to visit his good friend A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher.

The school believes they now have the head football coach in place who can threaten Slocum’s coaching record there. And they probably feel that with Slocum around the football program daily, it could only be beneficial to A&M football. After all, he won four conference titles—three in the Southwest Conference and one in the Big 12.

Slocum first became acquainted with the huge school at College Station in 1972 when he was hired as an assistant to Emory Bellard, who incidentally invented the Wishbone formation for Bridge City’s Steve Worster at bitter rival University of Texas when he was the offensive coordinator there.

I first met R.C. around 1970, even though we both were athletes at McNeese at different times. He was recruiting Southeast Texas for Kansas State where he was an assistant.

His pet project was to visit Bubba Bean at Kirbyville every time he came to Orange to visit his family. He became really close to the Bean family while Bubba starred for the Wildcats as an underclassman.

By the time Bubba was a senior in 1972, recruiting college coaches had to take a number on his porch in Kirbyville, there were so many of them.

When Slocum changed jobs, he thought he had missed his chance to sign Bean. But Bubba’s family liked Slocum so well, he opted to play football for Texas A&M because of R.C. and soon became a star for the Aggies.

Those internet geniuses around Bryan/College Station who kept asking for Slocum’s head finally got their wish in 2002 and have never lived that big blunder down.

But R.C. had such deep feelings for Texas A&M that he never left Bryan/College Station area and had been instrumental in A&M moving to the Southeastern Conference, dating back nearly three decades.

He has served in various capacities at A&M since his dismissal as football coach 17 years ago, many in a fundraising role to the university president.

“I’ve been involved with Texas A&M for 47 years and have deep feelings about the university,” Slocum told the Houston Chronicle last week.

“I feel like we’re right on the cusp of greatness with our athletic program. My role is to keep the momentum going forward until a permanent AD is hired, as well as to assure Aggies, coaches and athletes that nothing has changed,” he added.

He told me in a phone conversation Monday that this job will dramatically cut into his golfing schedule.

“There are some great golf tournaments that I probably won’t be able play in. especially one at Pebble Beach that I haven’t missed in 28 years, but it comes the same weekend as the Southeastern Conference meetings which I can’t miss,” R.C. told me.

Recently, Slocum was named to the College Football Playoff 13-member selection committee that chooses the sport’s final four teams to determine a national champion.

Texas A&M has had three athletic directors in the last seven years—Bill Byrne (2002-12), Eric Hyman (2002-16) and Woodward (2016-19)—and probably is in no hurry to hire a replacement for Woodward now that Orange native R.C. Slocum is aboard.

KWICKIES…After winning 10 games in a row, the Houston Astros lost three of four before returning to Minute Maid Park Monday where they have yet to lose this season. The Astros began a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins, who are in first place in the AL Central Division. The recent losses knocked the Astros out of first place in the AL West which is occupied by Seattle.

And while on the subject of the Astros, ace pitcher Justin Verlander (3-0) earned his 207th career victory last week, tying him with Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Hal Newhouser and Carl Mays for 103rd place on the all-time list. Verlander is two wins shy of Vida Blue, Eddie Cicotte, Don Drysdale and Milt Pappas, who all had 209 wins.

C.T Pan took advantage of golf’s No. 1 player in the world Dustin Johnson’s meltdown on the back nine Sunday to post his first PGA Tour victory, the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Pan beat fan favorite Matt Kuchar by one stroke to win the $1.242 million first-place money.

Something must be wrong with the sports fans in Philadelphia and New York City who both decided to cover the statue of singer Kate Smith because of a song she sang in the 1930’s that somehow offended them this month.

The Lamar Cardinals women’s basketball program lost a great coach when Robin Harmony resigned last week to take a similar position at the College of Charleston. I wonder if she was sought after or saw the writing on the wall of how much weaker her team would be next season?

JUST BETWEEN US…When the 2019 National Football League draft begins tomorrow, the Houston Texans will have four picks in the first three rounds and are specifically looking for four players who can start immediately, mainly offensive tackles and cornerbacks.

The Dallas Cowboys probably filled their most important position when tight end Jason Witten announced he was coming out of retirement.

But the Pokes want to strengthen their defensive secondary, especially at safety and cornerback.

It’s too bad owner Jerry Jones didn’t want to open his wallet far enough to have landed Orange’s Earl Thomas III, who was gobbled up by the Baltimore Ravens, who were glad to pay the price for a multi-year contract.

This year’s draft should see a plethora of 4-3 defensive linemen and 3-4 outside linebackers which should give the league one of the best collections of pass rushers in NFL history.


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