Fri May 27 01:43pm EDT
Craig Biggio is a Houston Astros legend. Some would make the case that he even belongs in the Hall of Fame as a seven-time All-Star and with over 3,000 career hits. Whether he's ever inducted in Cooperstown or not, Biggio certainly is of a certain caliber of player who could happily rest on their laurels for the rest of their life when they eventually decide to retire.
Yet that's not Biggio, as most in the Astros organization will quickly attest to. So, rather than ease his way into life after baseball stardom, within two years of his retirement he jumped right into baseball coaching at the high school level. What he has built in the two years since he was hired is something akin to a budding dynasty.
According to the Houston Chronicle, St. Thomas (Texas) School won the TAPPS Class 5A state baseball title in the first year under Biggio's tutelage. In his second season, in 2011, the team made it back to the state finals.
And, for the second straight season, St. Thomas captured the state crown, using a home run by one of Biggio's sons, Cavan Biggio, to earn the crown with a 4-3 victory against Dallas (Texas) Bishop Lynch.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the big bats making a difference in the team's semifinal victory also has the last name Biggio; Craig Biggio's son, Conor Biggio, who delivered the game-winning hit in a 4-3, extra-innings nail biter against Argyle (Texas) Liberty Christian High.
"I don't get too caught up with that," Biggio told the Chronicle when asked about his impact on the program. "It's not about me, it's about these kids, and win or lose we're trying to turn these kids into men. … That's the thing that's most important to me."
Others might disagree, one of his former teammates among them. Another TAPPS state semifinalist in 2011 was coached by another former Astros player, with Woody Williams leading Fort Bend (Texas) Baptist school to the Class 4A semifinals. Like Biggio, Williams, a former pitcher, ushered in an era of immediate success when he arrived at Fort Bend Baptist, and has led the team to the state semifinals in both of the two seasons in which he has been in charge.
In fact, Biggio and Williams' success raises another question that small Texas private schools hoping to rebuild a baseball program might want to consider: What is Jeff Bagwell up to these days?