Bob Bateman has worn a few different hats at Carson High School for the past 37 years — teacher, track coach, football coach and athletic director.
All good things must eventually come to an end, and Bateman has informed school and district officials he’s retiring as of Aug. 31. The veteran coach and administrator said the district hopes to have a new athletic director in place by Sept. 16. Marc Rodina, CHS dean and athletic administrator, is expected to run things in the interim.
Bateman, who has been athletic director for eight years and was named the top Nevada athletic director in 2015, admitted he was just hoping he could “fade into the sunset” when asked to be interviewed. He has become a grandfather in recent years, and retirement certainly gives him a chance to spend time with his three kids and his grandchildren.
“I spoke to Mr. (Richard) Stokes recently,” Bateman said Saturday afternoon. “I told him I thought it was the right time.”
Blair Roman, CHS football coach, said he wasn’t surprised by the decision. Roman said Bateman informed him of the decision this past week.
“Bob has been going year to year the last few years,” Roman said. “He’s done a great job in the time (eight years) he’s been athletic director.
“In my personal opinion, success starts at the top. With coach Bateman in control, we’ve had success in football, boys basketball, soccer and volleyball among other sports. Our athletic program (as a whole) is as good as anybody’s in the state, and a lot of that is because of Bob’s hard work.”
Bateman is legendary for his support of coaches.
“I was hoping the rumor wasn’t true,” said CHS boys basketball coach Carlos Mendeguia. “He was always very supportive of coaches here as long as they were doing their job. He was firm, but fair.
“You always knew where you stood with Bob. He’s one of the best athletic directors we’ve ever had at Carson High. He has done so much for the school, the coaches and players. He will be hard to replace.”
Bateman coached the CHS girls track teams to state titles in 1982 and 1987, and he guided the CHS football team to a league title in 1998.
Those are among his fondest memories.
“There are so many memories, it would be hard to pick just one,” Bateman said. “Winning a couple of state titles is right up there.
“In football, I inherited a team that had gone 0-9 the previous year. We had moved from the field (now Carson Middle School) to our present location. We were playing Sparks in our opener, and we didn’t know what to expect. We beat them 56-0. That was exciting.”
Bateman said he’s constantly receiving praise about the CHS athletic programs when he goes to regional and state meetings.
“They tell me how we’re always so tough in every sport, and I tell them that is due to the coaches and the athletes buying in. I’ve been very fortunate with the quality of coaches we’ve been able to hire here.
“Obviously football and basketball have had a lot of success in recent years, and coach (Robert) Maw with track and volleyball. Soccer has been good, and Pete (Sinnott) has done a good job with cross country over the years. Wrestling has had a good run lately. All the programs have done a good job.”
And, Bateman has appreciated the support of the community.
“We have had strong support from the athletic community,” he said. “I think the community has lived vicariously through the success of the athletic community.”
Carson is coming off one of its best athletic seasons in recent memory.
• The football team won its sixth league/conference title in the past seven seasons.
• The boys soccer program won its first state title since 1998 despite finishing second in league play.
• The boys basketball team went undefeated in league play (16-0) and reached the state playoffs at Lawlor Events Center.
• The baseball, volleyball and girls soccer teams all reached the regional playoffs.
Bateman has been instrumental in Carson hosting state and regional track, and regional basketball and wrestling in the past 10 years. Hopefully his successor will keep the big events coming Carson’s way.
“Right now, I just want to take a couple of months off and then we’ll see what’s going on,” Bateman said. “I definitely want to do something; be involved in something.”
Hopefully that something is high school sports. It’s something Bateman knows, and it’s something he’s good at.