Llano High has become either the graveyard of coaches or cradle of coaches. The incoming leaders hope it’s the beginning of, or continuation of, success. Those departing will try to turn their new schools into a cradle of golden memories.
The latest to receive attention for his exit is Brad Harman, the Jackets’ head baseball coach for four years; his football duties have included the role of defensive coordinator the past two seasons. He’ll have both jobs at Class 2A Lago Vista.
"There’s a ton of potential there,” Harman said. “145 athletes came out for football in the high school grades in 2011. I think we can get some of that number on the diamond.”
He points out, “Baseball has been down lately, but I’m excited to get things going.”
Football hasn’t been down. The Vikings went three rounds in the playoffs last fall, were region semifinalists in 2010, and they have “an enormous amount of returnees for 2012.”
Harman led the baseball Jackets to postseason in ’10 and ’11, but they did not get by bi-district. His Coahoma teams were in the playoffs all five springs he was head coach. He was there before Llano.
3A ball to 2A
“It’s baseball,” the coach notes with a shrug in his voice. “The constant at the 2A level is if you can play good defense, the opponents won’t score many runs. It’s a matter of fundamentals—fielding and running the bases right.”
He knows he wants his pitchers to throw strikes and his hitters to swing at good pitches. So does Joe Girardi. He’s in good company.
“I had great times,” declared Brad Harman. “I have no regrets. The people I worked with were second to none. I’m thankful (then athletic director) David Yeager brought me here. I learned to be a better person because of him.
“The kids I coached will never be forgotten. It wasn’t just their athletic ability but their amazing character. I’ll stay in touch with them. I’m not going to remember how many tackles they made or their batting averages. I’ll be more concerned in 10 years or so if they’re good husbands and fathers with good jobs.
“They had tremendous work ethic. I’d walk to the end of the earth and back for them.”
“Everywhere you coach, there will be conflicts,” Harman acknowledged, “but they stem from the common interest of wanting the kids to be successful.
“This is a difficult culture of a community, because it’s so competitive—they’ve had the taste of winning in their mouth. I knew that (when I came here), and I’d rather have parents with high expectations. The kids work hard because their brothers and dads were on winning teams. There’s a tradition, and that’s one reason I took the position.”
“The kids were energetic and loved to come to practice. I got every ounce of dedication out of them. I’ve never coached guys like that.
“Caring for them and wanting what’s best for them is what this business is all about.”