January 7th, 2021

Bob Beatty retires from Trinity with record numbers

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer


Bob Beatty retires from Trinity with record numbers
Bob Beatty calls it a career at Trinity after 21 years. (photo by Eric Thorne)

Bob Beatty is a X’s and O’s man who know numbers inside and out, but for all gaudy stats, records and accomplishments it was still hard for the Trinity coach to call quits on Thursday and retire.    

With his wife Jayne sitting to the left and Athletic Director Rob Saxton and President Rob Mullen to his left surrounded by coaches and media the man who has guided the Rocks for 21 years felt his time on Sherburn Lane had come to a close.

He swore there would be no tears, but he admitted afterward that was harder than he thought. And just after beginning he had to stop as his face became red and he bowed his head for composer.

A very humble yet demanding coach Beatty leaves Kentucky as the 19th winningest of all time with a record of 254-44. Including his time coaching in Blue Springs, Missouri he is 279-51 and has coached overall for 42 years.

While there are too many accomplishments to rank or spell out those that stand out are:

·         15 Kentucky state championships (16 overall)

·         Trinity was crowned the 2011 USA Today National Champion

·         Selected to the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018

·         USA Today National Coach of the Year in 2017

·         Two-time coach at the US Army All-American Bowl game in 2013 and 2015

·         His teams were 90-6 in the playoffs, including 15-2 in state championships.

·         He went 218-22 against Kentucky competition and 36-22 against out-of-state opponents.

·         He was 25-9 against archrival St. Xavier — a team he only referred to over the years as “that school from Poplar Level Road (Admittedly that’s my school he is referring to).

·         13-9 against Male

·         180-4 against the rest of Kentucky.

 

A native of Butler, MO., Beatty, 65, attended Pittsburg State University until 1976, when he transferred to Missouri Southern State College, where he graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor's degree in Education. Beatty played on Pittsburg's football team from 1973–76.

He since has coached at Clinton County High in Missouri, William Jewel College and Blue Springs High.

Beatty directed Trinity to the school's 27th state title when the Shamrocks defeated Male, 28-0, in the Class 6A final at Kroger Field in Lexington last month. In a season nearly spoiled by COVID-19 and numerous cancellations Beatty and the Rocks navigated it week by week never knowing if it would be their last.

 Ironically, they led the state in points per game at 42.9 yet only allowed a total of 48 to be scored the entire year. Another incredible stat is just 26 total rushing yards allowed the whole season as well.

Athletic Director Rob Saxton began the news conference with a few stats of his own that pointed out just what his coach and friend had accomplished.

He remarked his titles are more than Bill Belichick (280-136 but just 6 Super Bowl rings), Nick Saban (260-65-1 5 national Championships) and Dabo Sweeney (140-33 2 championships).

I asked Beatty how it felt for Saxton to reference him in the same breath as these greats.

Without hesitation as he always does, he simply answered.

“Some people would call this arrogance. Some people would call it cocky. I just call it fact,” Beatty said. “I don’t compare myself to any of those guys, but if they want to get across the sideline from me, I’ll come out of retirement and hang 60 on them. I don’t care who it is.”

The room erupted in laughter. Beatty can always do that with his wit.

When he first arrived, he did not know just how hard it would be. While his first title was a 45-19 blowout of Male in 2001, the following two in three years would not be so easy.

The 2002 shootout edging Male 59-56, and the following year a 17-14 win over St. X. In 2005 it was another battle with the Tigers with the Rocks winning 14-6. The rest of the titles haven’t been close.

He recalled the disciplinarian his father Warren was, a man who showed little compassion for how hard life was especially since he was battling cancer himself.

In 2003 he started 0-4 and was worried the job may have been a bit more than he could handle. His dad got up and said they are going for breakfast and off the went to Waffle House.

“It might be time to do something else,” Bob told his dad.

Warren reached in his pocket and handed his son a handkerchief.

“Here do you want me to blow your nose, or do you want me to do it for you?” Warren asked. “Now you need to get to work.”

They beat St. X the following week and did not lose a game the rest of the year.

His strong dedication revolves around four principals: commitment, accountability, discipline, and training.

Those attributes are what drives athletes to Trinity, but its Beatty and his coaches that instill the philosophy he hopes they carry with them a lifetime.

“I don’t remember that we ever lost a game because someone was in better shape, or stronger than us,” he said with a nod to his coaches in the room. “…the same this year even with COVID-19. I had to work to find a way for us to get the maximum practice time in and the most of it. Whatever that meant.”

Those same coaches embrace the same philosophy as Beatty, and he explained that.

“We take a young man who may not be very good, and we make him a good athlete. Then we take the good one and make them better. Then we take the better athlete and make them into a good athlete. Then we take the good athlete and make them a great athlete. Then that great athlete who is getting the D1 offers and make them elite athletes. That’s just the process of building them up.”

Every athlete who has graced the locker room or in one of Beatty’s health or physical education classes leaves a better man from what he has taught and instilled in each and every one of them.

 

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