ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Bob Esguerra has six children, 11 grandchildren and more adopted sons and daughters than he could even attempt to count.
That’s what happens when you coach multiple sports across parts of five decades in the same county, with the last 12 years of that coming at St. Augustine High School.
With his youngest daughter, Terralyn, finishing up her high school career and a few health scares over the years, Esguerra said that now was the best time to turn the page.
“It’s time. I’ve done my work as a father, as a coach, as a parent, as a mentor. It’s just time that I step aside,” he said. “My health is not good, but it’s time to, like I said, let the next generation of outstanding coaches take the field.”
On Wednesday night, Esguerra coached his final home game with the Yellow Jackets, a 17-2 win over Riverside. Numerous softball alumni showed up for the game and one of Esguerra’s childhood baseball heroes, former Major League Baseball hurler, Luis Tiant, even threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
It was an emotional night for Esguerra.
Coaching has been part of the fabric of life for decades. Esguerra coached most of his children in high school and formed bonds with athletes and fellow coaches over the years that he struggled to put into words on Wednesday night.
There’s never a good time to say goodbye,
Esguerra, a 1982 Parker graduate, got his start at St. Joseph Academy five years after high school and stayed there through 2010. During his time with the Flashes, Esguerra coached both the boys and girls basketball teams simultaneously, coached softball and even football, going 9-1 in 2009. Esguerra racked up 579 victories on the basketball court at St. Joseph and he’s just 25 victories shy of 300 in softball.
Esguerra started coaching and teaching at St. Augustine not long after he left St. Joseph and has continued that path since the fall of 2010. He said that coaching was truly a family commitment, thanking his wife, Theresa, for the understanding, sacrifice and patience of being a coach’s wife.
In all, Esguerra has been a head varsity coach for more than 1,600 games since 1987.
“It’s just all the opportunities to let these kids shine and try to get to the next level, academically or athletically, you know,” Esguerra said. “That’s things I’m going to miss. But I know that I did my job as a coach as a teacher as a mentor, and I’ve done my job. I’m proud of an opportunity just to be around young people. It’s time to, like I said, let the next generation of outstanding coaches take take the field.”