Romines reflects on hall of fame career

By Maya Golden - bio | email

Leroy Romines has more than a trophy room in his home, it is really a museum.

Each picture, newspaper clipping and autographed basketball is evidence of an outstanding career.

"I always felt like I could take a group of guys and organize them and be able to compete, give them the confidence to compete and maybe win," Romines said.

Over 32 years, Romines led seven East Texas high schools teams: Wells, Hemphill, Hooks, Dayton, Barber's Hill, Henderson and Longview.

Romines put together a career record of 714-312. Now he can add hall of famer to his list of accomplishments. This weekend, Romines will be inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

''Hall of famer'' is never a title that crossed Romines' mind.

"Oh, you don't think about things like that," he said. "When you are a coach, you just kind of go from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year."

Romines coached at Henderson from 1969 to 1973. When the school was forced to integrate, Coach Romines used basketball to ease the tension.

"Out of those three schools we made one team," Romines explained, "and that year in '72 we went to the state finals. Those kids came together and played as one. So, that was probably the most satisfying thing."

Romines coached the Longview Lobos for 18 seasons. He coached future NBA star David Wesley and Philadelphia Eagle Bobby Taylor.

In 1992, Taylor helped to give Romines one of his favorite memories, a state title win. It is a memory that still brings out emotion in the coach.

"It was 15 seconds to go and Bobby Taylor steals the inbound pass and dunks the ball and gets fouled and he pulled us out," Romines said as his voice cracked.

Though he retired from coaching in 1996, new generations of hoopsters know his name.

The Leroy Romines Holiday Hoopfest is held every year at Longview High School.

Romines is proud of his accomplishments, but wants his legacy to be more of what he did for his players in life than on the court.

"If people can say, he got everything he could out of his kids and they played hard and they acted right, you know I think that would be kind of what my career was about."

Romines will be inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday in San Antonio.

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