Port Arthur’s Aaron Babino earns head coaching position

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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CAMERON — There is a new high school head coach in Texas with roots in Port Arthur.

On Monday, the Cameron ISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Aaron Babino as the school district’s new athletic director and head football coach.

Babino, a Port Arthur native, comes to Cameron with a wealth of coaching experience and success, in a career that spans 18 years.

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He has spent the last five years at Desoto, where he was the defensive coordinator, leading the Eagles to back-to-back 6A Division II State Championships in 2022 and 2023.

The Texas High School Coaches Association selected Babino as the Region 3 Assistant Coach of the Year in 2023.

During CISD’s competitive search process, district officials said Babino “clearly distinguished” himself from a field of candidates with his knowledge, energy, professionalism, relational capacity and passion for young people.

“Coach Babino thoroughly impressed me with his commitment to positively impacting the lives of his student-athletes. His expectations and vision for the future of our athletic program made him the right choice for Cameron ISD and C.H. Yoe High School,” Cameron ISD Superintendent Kevin Sprinkles said.

“The district is lucky to have a man of his caliber leading our young men and women.”

The DeSoto High School Eagles celebrate with the state championship trophy in 2023. Aaron Babino was the team’s defensive coordinator. (desotoisd.org)

Port Arthur Newsmedia last caught up with Babino in December following last season’s thrilling DeSoto state championship victory.

The Eagles (15-0) defeated Summer Creek 74-14 to capture the 6A Division 2 crown.

According to various reports, the Eagles scored the second-most points in a Texas 11-man state title game and had the largest margin of victory in a UIL championship contest.

Babino said his Eagles were ready to play, adding head coach Claude Mathis always says once his team gets to the title game, “we are not losing.”

Babino credits DeSoto’s “District of Doom” and tough schedule for the team’s ability to perform so well in the state playoffs.

In 2023, the Eagles defeated South Oak Cliff, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Waxahachie and Allen.

“And we won state last year, so we have already been on the big stage,” Babino said.

Football roots

Babino’s dad, Anthony Bryant, played football in Port Arthur and at the University of Oklahoma with Joe Washington Jr.

Babino said he played football in Port Arthur at Stephen F. Austin High School and Lincoln High School.

“I played football since I was 4 years old, probably,” Babino recalls. “I was always playing in the neighborhood. It has always been part of my family. Back then, it was smash mouth football. It was fullbacks, isolation power football and option football. Today’s it’s more spread open. You have to be a little bit more athletic, making tackles in space. Back then it was all about hard work. It was instilled in me from a very young age, you have to work harder than your opponent. You can’t just be talented. You have to sharpen your skills.”

Babino jokes that as a youth sports participant, everybody was good in Port Arthur.

Neighborhood pickup games in all sports featured talented athletes.

Those games were competitive, tough and prepared Babino to play football for the University of Texas.

“As a coach now, I try to instill in those kids what I learned as a young athlete in Port Arthur,” he said. “You have to take your academics serious. Everybody wants to go off to camps and there is NIL money, but if you don’t have the books, that dream will never happen. Something in my family household, from my mom and my dad, was grades. You have to have something to fall back on. That is something I always tell those kids.”