Steven Cerny planned to spend a few years at Shiner before moving on when he began his high school coaching career in 1988.
Shiner softball coach Steven Cerny talks to his team during their game against Bells in the UIL Class 2A Softball State Championship at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin in 2017. photo by Angela Piazza, Victoria Advocate
But Cerny never left, and he has no regrets.
“The next thing you know, I fell in love with Shiner and even when there were opportunities to go, I never could leave because there were just too many pluses about this place,” Cerny said. “It’s great place to raise a family as well.”
Cerny, 54, will finish his three-decade career at Shiner after announcing his retirement Monday, effective at the end of the school year.
“I would have waited until the end of the year and go with it,” he said. “I just didn’t think it was in the best interest for Shiner. I didn’t want to leave them hanging.
“I’ve enjoyed coaching my kids and that part of it,” he added. “I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. It’s just time to free up time for my family more than anything.”
Cerny has had unparalleled success at Shiner, winning five state championships in three sports.
Shiner coach Steven Cerny speaks to his players during football practice in Shiner. Advocate File Photo
He led the Comanches to a state football title in 2004, state baseball titles in 1992 and 2002, and state softball titles in 2015 and 2016.
“We’ve had good athletes to work with and a lot of support,” Cerny said. “That’s still one of the most important things for a coach to be successful. You’ve got to have support from the community. That’s what Shiner has done, and not just for me, but for our whole program.”
Shiner Superintendent Trey Lawrence knows Cerny will be difficult to replace.
“Steven Cerny is a winner,” Lawrence said. “He’s a winner, he’s a father, he’s a great husband, he’s a role model and he’s a friend. I’ll tell you what: I’m going to miss him. I’ve been with him for 19 years. The struggles we’ve been through, the things we’ve been through, the success we’ve had, you cannot discount that. He’s just a winner in every way.”
Shiner baseball coach Daniel Boedeker was a freshman at the school when Cerny arrived and played on Cerny’s 1992 state championship team.
Cerny was Boedeker’s assistant when the Comanches won the 2002 state baseball title.
“I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him,” Boedeker said. “He and I have worked side by side together for a long time. It was a lot of memories created and definitely a good learning experience for me, especially coming in as a young coach and having someone like that to follow.
“It’s his attention to detail that makes him so successful,” Boedeker continued. “He’s really about that. That’s one of the things he’s taught me, is some of the smallest things are of big importance. He takes a lot of pride in doing those little things right.”
Shiner coach Steven Cerny, center, runs players through a hitting drill during practice at Shiner's practice field. photo by Olivia Vanni, Victoria Advocate
Cerny was the head football coach for 16 seasons and had an overall record of 165-48. His teams advanced to the state final in 2003 and 2013.
Opposing coaches knew Cerny’s teams would be difficult to beat.
“I have as much respect for coach Cerny as probably any coach in the business,” said Refugio coach Jason Herring. “His teams are always extremely well prepared, they always execute right, they always act right and are very disciplined. In my book, coach Cerny is one of the best there’s ever been in the business.”
Lawrence said he plans to discuss hiring Cerny’s replacement with the board of trustees at Wednesday’s meeting.
“It’s been a pretty gut-wrenching thing for me,” Lawrence said. “All good things come to an end, but Shiner is going to be OK. We’ll keep on rocking and rolling.”
Cerny has no intention to slow down until his retirement is official and would love to go out with another state softball championship.
“I’m going to enjoy every bit of it,” he said. “It’s been a good season so far. All I did is announce I’m retiring, but I’m not retiring yet.’
Mike Forman is the Sports Editor for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org