Glasgow baseball coach reflects on career as retirement nears

As all stories have chapters, Royse, too, is closing out this season of his life.
Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 5:00 PM CDT
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GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) – After more than 30 years of full-time involvement in Glasgow High School’s baseball program, Sam Royse is calling it a game and retiring as the head coach of the team.

Royse is set to retire on June 30 from the position he first took in the spring of 1985.

“Every walk comes to an end, and this one’s coming to an end,” he said.

Before he was old enough to play baseball he was going to games around the Glasgow community. With his older brother Henry in tow, the two would embark on trips to John Richardson Stadium at Gorin Park.

The pair’s father, Hank, helped coach and later became the “Voice of the Scotties,” calling games for many years at the former WKAY radio station.

“I just kept coming to watch the older guys play at American Legion and when I got into high school,” Royse said. “It just followed suit, and here we are today.”

A lot can happen within a nearly 40-year career and some of those memories are still at the front of his mind.

Royse was awakened last summer in the early morning hours to devastating news, the grandstand at Glasgow’s baseball field was on fire. He made a trip to the area where he stood in silence for the longest time and watched the historic structure be consumed by the flames.

He has also led countless teams to various championship teams and has touched the lives of many students over the years.

“It’s all good. It’s all good, you know. I think these days people understand that the world’s going to continue to turn without us. Certainly, in this ballpark and this baseball program, it’s gonna continue to go,” said Royse.

Coach Royse maintained a humble attitude mentioning that he has had little to do with the overall program but has simply helped along the way.

Every turn at the field now bearing his namesake shows he has had his finger on just about every project to be completed there over the last four decades. The city of Glasgow recognized that work in 2018 by naming the field “Sam Royse Field” at John E. Richardson Stadium, which first opened in the community in 1957.

As all stories have chapters, Royse, too, is closing out this season of his life.

“I just don’t feel that I’m able to do it,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I know I’m not.”

He cited physical limitations and age as factors impairing his coaching abilities. He will be 65 in November and recently became a grandfather.

As for his legacy, Royse said he hopes he has “done a pretty good job.” Stopping to reflect and swallow his emotions, he said he hopes “that I’ve served and that I’ve left things in a better place.”

Glasgow High School has not yet named a new baseball coach, but Royse said he’s “confident good people will come” to carry on the program in years to come.

“It’s in good shape,” Royse said.