Bob Bauman

Episode 47

23 DEC 2019

The head coach of the boys’ varsity soccer team at Cristo Rey, a Catholic high school in Tampa. Last year the Tampa Bay Times ranked him 20th on a list of the top 50 coaches in Tampa Bay sports history. In 26 seasons at Jesuit High School, his teams had won 24 district titles, reached 15 final fours and won five state championships. His last title team also finished first in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. All told, he posted a 571-124-69 record at Jesuit — a staggering .747 win percentage.  As an athlete himself, he had played college soccer and was offered a tryout by a pro soccer team.

Guest quotes:

“My father’s brother, Richard, was a priest and was ordained in the old St. Louis Cathedral in downtown St. Louis.”

“On my mom’s side, the family was very religious in terms of their Catholic upbringing and my third cousin off of my mom’s side of the family was the archbishop of New Guinea.”

“Buried in the floor of the St. Louis Cathedral is a relative of mine… right at the feet of the Virgin Mary.”

“My dad’s father… had been the trainer for the St. Louis Browns baseball club ’til they left and moved to Baltimore, Maryland, (and) became the Orioles.  My father was a bat boy for the Browns for three years before they moved.  My grandfather then jumped over to the Cardinals.  So, he was the trainer for the baseball Cardinals until, I believe, it was 1989.”

“In St. Louis there was such a strong Catholic base… there were so many Catholic churches, that that was the formation for your baseball leagues, your soccer leagues.  The Catholic Youth Council, the CYC, was so embedded in the area.”

“Sports supplemented our faith and that gave us groundwork for understanding the idea of respecting an opponent, the idea of doing your best, fundamental things such as discipline and commitment – all of the things that are very fundamental and the values that I cherish as a coach and try to transfer onto the players that I coach now.”

“It was always an order of God first, family second, academics third, and then athletics fourth. And I would tell the parents that, ‘If you sent your child here and the priority is soccer, then you need to realign your priorities’.”

“The idea of Cristo Rey is to take underserved kids, underserved youth, where the family income cannot exceed 60 thousand, no parent can earn more than 15 thousand, and it’s called Cristo Rey Salesian High School and Work Study Program.  So, every child that’s in the school is sponsored by a business where that child works one day a week, a full day of work at that business, and the business covers their tuition.”

(This episode contains a prayer by Fort Worth Christian Football League parent Linda Fleshman, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)