Tiger’s Loewe to retire after 34-year run

Veteran led Rockdale back to playoffs

Dusty Loewe ends his career two wins shy of 500 victories, but has not ruled out returning to the sidelines at some point. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Dusty Loewe ends his career two wins shy of 500 victories, but has not ruled out returning to the sidelines at some point. Reporter/Bill Martin Vowing to return Rockdale back to the playoff promised land, Dusty Loewe accomplished the feat and is now calling it a day.

Loewe is retiring after 34 years on the sideline and leading the Tigers to their first winning season and playoff appearance since 1997 this past season.

“It’s been hard,” Loewe said. “I’m leaving on an up note.”

Loewe, 57, is taking the RISD’s early retirement option along with 16 other district teachers, saying, “it was too good to pass up.”

While it became official at Monday’s school board meeting, he turned in his paper work in January and was on his own personal farewell tour for the second half of the season.

“Every game, I thought this might be my last game in this gym,” he said. “Every national anthem I would start to get a little choked up, but once the game started, it would be okay.”

The Tigers, who were third in District 23-3A, were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by Sealy and finished 20-12 in 2012.

Once a basketball power, it was Rockdale’s first winning season or playoff appearance in 15 years.

“ This year was as much fun as I have ever had,” said Loewe. “You think about where we started and where we ended up.

“I’m proud that we brought back an interest in the basketball program.”

“ That was the thing,” said Rockdale Athletic Director Jeff Miller. “He came back over here and wanted to get this program back where it was the first time he was here.

“The kids bought into what he was trying to do and it made for a really good year.”

Garcia Garcia Loewe, is two wins shy of reaching 500 career victories and had coaching stops at Blooming Grove, Palestine Westwood, Rice Consolidated, Gonzales, Caldwell and Taylor.

Loewe has been a head coach for 33 of his 34 years on the sidelines.

His first team, Blooming Grove, finished third in district.

“I’ve done a lot of reminiscing since I made the decision and started thinking about those guys. They’re all in their 50s now.

“ I’ve been around so long, I coached 10 years before the three-point line was installed.”

In his two different tenures here, Loewe has also led Tigers to the state tennis and golf tournaments.

The golf team is hoping to make its third straight appearance at state.

Loewe also resurrected the Rockdale basketball tournament after a 20-year absence.

Loewe was fortunate enough to coach all three of his children.

He coached Justin (who played at Texas A&M) at Caldwell and then switched over to coach the girls team when daughter Miranda came through. He coached his youngest Lance (who is playing at East Texas Baptist) at Rockdale.

His daughter Miranda has followed in her father’s footsteps and is a coach at Rockdale.

“ We were fortunate to have him here,” Miller said. “It was great to have him as a part of our staff and we wish him well. He’ll be a tough one to replace.

While he is “retiring” from the RISD, Loewe has not ruled out a return to coaching, in the public or private sector.

“I’m at a point where I have a lot I want to do,” he said. “You never know. I still enjoy coaching. I feel like I can coach as good as I did 20 years ago. I’m not ready to get a rocking chair and sit on the front porch. I’m not ready to retire really.”

“Dusty is in tremendous shape, tremendous health, I’m sure he’s not going to just sit around.”

Sergio Garcia, who has been a basketball assistant for six years, will become the new head basketball coach.

“Sergio’s ready,” said Loewe.

Garcia, 36, has no previous head coaching experience.

“Some will say we should open it up and see what we can get,” Miller said. “But I already know what I have in Sergio. Basketball is his passion, he’s not just a guy who we threw in there.”

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