Some coaches prefer to stay in one job year after year, while others aim to climb the ladder and get to the highest possible level.
Chad Krempin has cut his teeth taking on struggling programs and bringing them to the promised land of the playoffs or district titles. That’s exactly where he thinks Rouse can get sooner rather than later.
“That kind of challenge motivates me,” he said. “We have kids with good attitudes. They practice hard and fight hard. If you follow a plan, I believe in what I do and some of the mentors I’ve had that we’ll be successful. I think we’ll break through and be the first Rouse team to make the playoffs.”
The 15-year coaching veteran began his coaching career in Midland but got his first shot as a head coach with Jarrell in 2003. He won a district title with the Cougars and took them to the state tournament in 2004.
From there, he went to Lampasas and went to the second round of the playoffs. He said it’s still the only playoff series they’ve ever won. He moved to San Angelo Central for a few years before taking over at Salado for five seasons.
The Eagles went 30-12 last season and made it to the state final, where they lost 3-2 to Abilene Wylie.
He replaces the Raiders’ first-ever coach Paul Cochan, who went 54-79 in six seasons in charge. The Raiders finished above .500 in just one season and never made it to the playoffs, despite finishing in a tie for fourth place in 2012.
Krempin has a different, more intense, style of coaching. The Raiders’ fell behind Marble Falls early in the LISD baseball tournament last week, but thanks to some tough encouragement, rallied to beat the Mustangs 9-4.
“I’m more laid back then I used to be,” Krempin said. “There are times they aren’t playing all 21 outs and they can lose focus, but we can eliminate that. We’re getting there and the kids have been doing a good job.”
The Raiders already have six wins this season, double what they had all of last year when they won three games and failed to win in district play. Rouse has won three of its last five games and won three of five games at the Border Olympics in Laredo earlier this season.
With the preseason in the rearview mirror, the Raiders are ready to get district play started. They host Cedar Park Friday at 7 p.m. and hit the road to take on Cedar Creek next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“I don’t ever make reasonable expectations,” Krempin said. “I don’t waste my time trying to get fourth. That’s just the attitude I have. We’re just going to fight our asses off and try to win the district.”