In a move that was anything but unexpected, Texas A&M announced today that baseball coach Rob Childress’s contract will not be renewed. The Aggies finished the 2021 season with a series loss to LSU that put A&M’s final SEC record at 9-21, the worst conference record for A&M baseball since 1983. The Aggies will also miss the SEC baseball tournament (the bottom two teams in the conference don’t qualify) for the first time since joining the conference in 2012. This season also ends the team’s 13-year NCAA Tournament berth streak, which was the longest active streak in the country.
"Coach Childress is a great man and we appreciate his long-term dedication to Texas A&M and for leading our baseball program with class and dignity in every phase..."— Texas A&M Baseball (@AggieBaseball) May 23, 2021
Childress is one of only three men to lead the Texas A&M baseball program since 1959, along with Tom Chandler and Mark Johnson. His tenure included four conference titles (three in the Big 12, one in the SEC) and two trips to the College World Series (2011 and 2017). Unfortunately the Childress era was also marked by an inability to win any games in Omaha, along with several painful postseason exits in regionals and super regionals at the hands of Texas, Rice (twice) and TCU (twice). His teams were almost always good, but never quite reached the heights that fans wanted on a consistent enough basis.
“Coach Childress is a great man and we appreciate his long-term dedication to Texas A&M and for leading our baseball program with class and dignity in every phase,” said Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork. “Coach Childress deserves our respect and admiration for how he represented our program, and we wish him and his family all the best in their next chapter. I also want to thank our players for their determination and perseverance during this season with all of the protocols in place. In our analysis, we believe the program needs a new voice and a new identity, and our search for the next head coach will begin immediately. We, as Aggies, have high expectations for Texas A&M baseball, and we believe this is the best college baseball program in the country and we will attract a great head coach.”
By all accounts, he led the program honorably, and I can say for myself that I’ll always remember his tenure fondly, but I’m also excited to see who the Ags will hire to move the program forward.