LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The annual Caprock Classic basketball tournament kicked off on Thursday, and even with 89 teams participating this year there was still one person missing.
Last Friday, the tournament’s longtime director Bobby Drum passed away at the age of 58.
Bobby Drum had been the director of the tournament since 1994, but his contribution to the Lubbock athletic community dates back further than that.
Bobby began coaching softball at just 16 years old. His mother, Jerrienne Drum says that Bobby was younger than most of the girls on the team when he began coaching.
“The first year he took what was then Lampe Green to a state tournament, I had to go with him because he was not old enough to be a legal guardian. The team got third place that year, which was the highest they had ever gotten, after he took them over it was the lowest they ever got,” Jerrienne said.
During his 42 year career, Bobby coached teams of all ages that competed in state, regional, and national tournaments.
He also went on to become a USSSA Area Director, directing thousands of tournaments and championships.
“The Director for USSSA Softball told them one day at the national meeting, when they were doing the bidding to get tournaments, she stood up in front of them and said that if you have never been to Lubbock, Texas you need to go to find out how they run a tournament because nobody does it like Bobby Drum," Jerrienne told KCBD.
Even with all of his accomplishments on the field, Bobby’s wife Sjanna Drum says that what made Bobby so special was the man he was outside of the ballpark.
“I’ve seen him sign for cars, help with utility bills, all kinds of things, just so his girls could make it to the ballpark. I felt like initially when I first met him that we were like a school bus. We would go around and pick up all the kids for practice or we would take everybody home after a tournament. He was like a dad to a lot of kids that didn’t have dads or like a mentor to kids that didn’t have that," Sjanna said.
In 2005, Bobby Drum was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame.
The Drum Family told KCBD that Bobby coached all of his teams preaching ‘Heart, Class, and Mind’- he told them to always play with heart, act with class, and to believe in their minds that they were the best.
They hope that his former players carry these words with them and carry on his legacy.