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The Colins have found their calling

Posted Date: 05/01/2024

The Colins have found their calling

The Alexander Lady Bulldogs softball team is home to not just one Colin, but two. 

It all started in 1997 when Alex Colin interviewed on the United baseball diamond in a suit. He was offered the job right away as the Longhorns junior varsity baseball coach. Then he was asked to coach the freshman volleyball and basketball teams. The offer to coach softball followed.

Colin was at United for three years. He had always wanted to coach football in some way, and Nixon was able to offer him a position as the head softball coach and an assistant football coach. 

"What we had at Nixon was perfect. It was 14 years of my coaching career," he said. "I was the head coach, my wife was the assistant and our daughter was on the team. 2007 will still be one of the biggest and best moments when it comes to my coaching career."

Ever since that 2007 season, Colin was asked to join Alexander, but he would respectfully turn them down. Once he felt content with his work at Nixon, he started to listen to offers.

Colin has been in his current position at Alexander since 2014, but almost four years ago an opportunity opened up for an assistant coach. There was only one person he had in mind, his daughter Robyn.

Robyn Colin is well-known throughout the Laredo softball community. Robyn played softball for the Nixon Mustangs, where her dad was the head coach for 14 years. Her mom even joined in on the action as a Lady Mustangs' assistant coach. Still today, the Nixon 2006-07 softball team is one of the best. It made it all the way to the Sweet 16 in the UIL softball tournament -- the only Laredo softball team to do so. That year, the team was 7-6 at one point but went on a 19-game winning streak to finish 26-7. Robyn was the Lady Mustangs' catcher for four years. She collected numerous awards including district MVP her senior year.

Robyn was also a part of the 2008 Gateway Girls Big League World Series Team that played in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Just a few months ago, the 2008 Gateway team reunited as they were inducted into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame. 

Robyn was a walk-on with the Texas A&M Kingsville softball team where she redshirted for a year. After that first year of testing out the waters, she transferred back home to TAMIU. Her second year with the Dustdevils, the team won a conference championship. Robyn graduated in December 2013 and already had a job lined up in January.

"I had an interview with United South and Nixon. I wanted to go back to my alma mater, but Nixon couldn't offer me a full-time position," she said. "I remember crying at first, but once I got to South it was all good. I coached softball and volleyball. "2017 rolls around and I wanted to take a break from coaching and teaching. I ended up moving to Florida, and I ended up becoming a mortgage processor for USAA, crazy I know. I made so many friends in Florida, but my heart was aching away from my family, my hometown and even the food."

Robyn came back to Laredo and secured a job as a physical education aide at Alexander. A full-time job opened up at Nixon a few months later. She felt an emotional tear because she was physically at the same place as her dad, but she wasn't coaching. She made the hard decision and went to her alma mater. 

At Nixon, Robyn coached softball, track and football, making her the first female football coach in the city. 

"When I was one of the football coaches at Nixon, one of the biggest blessings in my life happened. I found out I was pregnant with my first. I went through my first trimester on the sidelines of the football field, it was insane. And the whole time I was pregnant, the pandemic rolled around," she said. "It felt like a lot all at once, and then a full-time position opened at Alexander. Of course I wanted it so I can reunite with my dad.

"I went for the Alexander interview the day before my C-section. I waddled in and had a great interview. The next day as I was at the hospital, they called and offered me the job. I was going to be reunited with my dad, Alexander, at Alexander, and I just welcomed my son, Alexander, to the world. A lot of Alexanders in one day."

And her dad was waiting with open arms. Robyn has always been family oriented. Growing up under her parents' roof was one thing, but that move to Florida changed her a lot as a person. She would call home every day, yearning to know what was going on with her family. It was hard being away from home. Of course she would come and visit, but it was never fulfilling. 

Now that it has been almost four full years of being on her father's staff, Robyn looks back at all the times where she was around her dad coaching but never close to where she wanted to be. 

"Those times when I was at South or when I was at Nixon and we had to coach against him, it sucked. It felt unnatural because I knew if my team won, my dad lost. I call him my GOAT. I want to be just like him because he knows his stuff," she said. "I've been a big-time daddy's girl and I envied to soak in as much as possible when it comes to coaching. I wanted to know how he coaches, but from the same dugout. Now that we're almost four years in, I've learned how to be patient. His passion has rubbed off on me. I have learned what hard work does for a person."

"I know Robyn talks about me being patient, but patience is not one of my best attributes. I think it's because we are always striving to get to that championship level, but having my daughter on my staff has been a dream come true," Alex said. "I give her leeway to do what she wants, and the girls can always learn from her since she had been in their very shoes before. She teaches me a lot on a day-to-day basis."

The softball team had a lot of goals this season, one of them making the playoffs. Both coaches feel that the team worried a lot about getting to the position to clinch a playoff spot. They did in fact make the playoffs, but their season ended in the first round after losing both games to a very dominant Harlan team.

The Lady Bulldogs also wanted to check all their boxes, which included beating South, LBJ and United twice. Luckily for the Bulldogs, they ended the season with every single box checked. 

"After big wins, I'm always the first he looks for and he embraces me in his arms. It's a true flashback to the hugs I would get as a player back in the day. It's a privilege to feel pressure," Robyn said. 

Both Colins have no plan on retirement anytime soon. Softball is a family affair. Alex gets to see his grandkids in the stands with his wife, and he loves every moment. He also doesn't take for granted the days he gets to spend with Robyn. It took a long time for them to get together in the same dugout. Now that they're together, they wouldn't trade it for the world.