Port Neches-Groves coach Scott Carter announces retirement, reflects on true success off the field

Published 12:28 am Friday, May 24, 2024

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Port Neches-Groves High School head baseball coach Scott Carter announced his retirement this week after 37 years coaching filled with multiple state championships and hundreds of wins.

Carter made the decision a while back but held off on an announcement until after the season to not make the team’s playoff run about him.

Carter amassed 643 wins, 27 playoff appearances, four state championship appearances and three state championships.

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The legendary coach joined PNG in 2013, leaving his former head coaching gig at Sweeny.

His most recent championship came with PNG in 2017.

“The decision wasn’t easy,” Carter said of his retirement. “When you have been doing something for 37 years, more than half your life, it is not easy. I am 61 years old and it is tough to walk away from it.”

While Carter said he has no plans to leave the Port Neches-Groves area any time soon, he is looking forward to a looser schedule, freeing him up to spend more time with family.

“I think God puts us where we need to be. He gave me two wonderful grandchildren and two beautiful daughters,” he said. “I have really put a lot of time and my heart into baseball. I think it is time to do what I preach. I talk to the kids a lot about putting God first and family second. I need to put my family up there.

“I don’t want to say I was at ease with it. It was a tough decision to walk away, but I think it was the right decision.”

Carter, who has helped put 53 players in college baseball and 11 players in the MLB draft, said the teams’ on-field accomplishments were the result of doing things the “right way.”

“We try to grow young men and develop better players, better husbands, better fathers and better men in life,” he said. “I had a parent tell me the other night that they wish they could’ve won me one more state title. I told them winning is not the ultimate goal. It is just the byproduct. It is not the main thing.

“My social media has blown up since people have found out I was retiring. My wife and daughters have been more proud to see that people think I am a good person and talk about the life lessons I have taught. Not many talk about the winning.”

While Carter and his family tried to keep his looming retirement quiet, he said people started to get suspicious when his family showed up for every potential elimination game during the late playoff run.

“It ended up always being, ‘This is not it. We have one more week,’” he said laughing. “My players and everyone kept giving me one more week. I loved every minute of it. It was awesome.”

Carter said it has been fun to be part of winning baseball and football programs.

He did not coach on the football team this season, but was part of the staff that went to the championship game in 2022.

“PNG was good before I got here and they will be good after I am gone,” he said. “There are a lot of good coaches at PNG and a lot of good people in the administration and this community. The honor, pride and tradition here is real. If you haven’t experienced it, you need to. It is a beautiful sight.

“I think the program is in great hands. I am probably going to miss it more than it is going to miss me. We did not leave the well dry. There are plenty of good things coming.”

In true Carter fashion, his last act with PNG is going to be coaching the baseball camp June 17-18.