Nederland grad Grammer takes on Legacy role

Published 11:49 pm Saturday, July 15, 2017

Jeromie Grammer was set on attending Duke following his graduation from Nederland High in 2009 and trying out for the vaunted basketball program there.

Somehow, he received a letter from a university in Lakeland, Florida, about its team.

“They had open tryouts,” he said. “I said, ‘You know what, why not? It’s Florida. It sounds cool.’”

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The letter, by Grammer’s account, highlighted the location of Southeastern University — between Orlando and Tampa Bay.

“I said, ‘Hey, this could be a good idea,’” Grammer said.

He didn’t make the team, but he felt a fire for a university whose athletic teams are nicknamed the Fire.

A college career that started at the small Christian university resulted in degrees in commercial music and audio engineering (bass guitar performance) from Lamar State College Port Arthur, which he received in 2013. Just before the start of the next school year, Grammer found himself on a coaching staff at Southeastern with no collegiate playing experience.

“It was a miracle,” he said. “God gets all the credit for that.”

By this time, Grammer was already known for his work with Southeast Texas Hoops, a select team that he founded five years ago and has coached every summer. From 2013-16, he also doubled as head coach at Lakeland’s St. Paul Lutheran School, coaching on the middle school level.

“Being single for most of the time was how I managed it and never being able to get enough basketball,” said Grammer, who married Caitlin in December. “I love the game and I love seeing young men develop. It’s a lot of fun for me, so that’s how I made it work.”

Now with four years of grooming on the NAIA level, the soon-to-be 26-year-old is taking over the boys basketball team at Legacy Christian Academy in Beaumont as its head coach. Legacy won its district title in TAPPS Class 3A last season.

“He’s going to outwork anything ahead of him,” Southeastern coach R-Jay Barsh said. “He’s very detailed. The way he relates to players is the epitome of what a Christian coach should be.”



Barsh gave a young man born in Port Arthur a chance to coach on a higher level within months of a cold call he received of the one-time student there.

“… [I] contacted him out the blue and we started to build a relationship and communicate through that summer,” Grammer said. “Sure enough, he brought me in for an interview. By the end of the interview, I was a 22-year-old assistant on a staff for a college basketball team.”

Barsh recalled a time in his life when he was a young man who just wanted an opportunity to coach college ball.

“I wanted someone who treat the job as a full-time job but would work for free,” he said. “I didn’t look at age. I looked at desire.”

During Grammer’s first season at Southeastern, the Fire went 27-7 and reached the national semifinals of the NAIA championship tournament, known as the “Fab Four”. His first three seasons at Southeastern resulted in winning records.

“That was the funnest year of my entire life,” he said.

Grammer recruited 2016 Nederland graduate Jase Miguez to Southeastern. Miguez, a guard, has transferred to Lamar State for his sophomore season, but Grammer said he and Miguez still have a good relationship.

“He is a great influence on and off the court,” Miguez said in a direct message to The News via Twitter. “He connects with his players in a good tone but not a strict one. Coach Grammer was an amazing assistant at SEU, and he is definitely the right coach for the job. To be honest with you, I will play for coach Grammer anywhere at anytime!

“That is how good he is. He is also truly a great guy off the court, which leads to great influence towards his players on the court.”



Brian English, Grammer’s and Miguez’s coach at Nederland, thinks the Warriors found a winner in Grammer.

“He’s a fiery young guy and does a good job motivating kids,” English said. “I hope he can stay in that mindset because we don’t have that many positive coaches on the sidelines anymore.”

Grammer’s Southeast Texas Hoops held its media day Saturday and announced the addition of girls teams to the program and the start of year-round activities as it works on building a community facility and gymnasium in Bridge City.

The one-time double major is used to pulling double duty.

“Being an athlete and playing the game of basketball and coaching the game of basketball has done so much for me in life,” Grammer said. “I’ve always been drawn to it and how high-paced the game is and its high energy. It’s easy to get the crowd going.

“It’s easy to be part of a team sport that’s got so much action to it.”

English added Grammer is a “great Christian guy” who worked really hard as a player. Although Grammer said he never started for the Bulldogs, English hopes the work ethic will carry over in his high school coaching career.

Just maybe, the pupil will test himself against the teacher very soon in non-district action.

“He wants to come to our tournament at Nederland, so we’ll see if we have a spot for him,” English said.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

**CORRECTS when Southeast Texas Hoops was established and the spelling of Caitlin Grammer**

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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