Generals coach leads in more ways than one
July 28, 2017 at 10:06 p.m.
Updated July 29, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Victoria Generals head coach Michael Oros sits on a bucket with a white binder in his hand while the Generals are pitching.
In the binder are scouting reports on players in the Texas Collegiate League.
He makes a note on each batter who comes to the plate.
Oros was in the same position eight years ago, standing on the mound for the Generals.
"The Generals gave me my first look at college baseball," Oros said. "My freshman year, I really didn't get a lot of playing time while I was at San Jac (San Jacinto College) in Houston. They didn't know a lot about me, and they took a chance on me. I'm forever grateful to the Generals organization to give me time to develop in the game of baseball."
Oros was a part of the Generals' 2009 inaugural team as a pitcher and got the experience he was looking for on the mound at Riverside Stadium.
Oros compiled a 3-0 record with 26 strikeouts and posted a 1.53 ERA in 31 innings of work in his first season for the Generals.
Oros returned to San Jac for his sophomore season then moved on to pitch at Sam Houston State University for the Bearkats his junior and senior year, but he spent his sophomore and junior year with the Generals in the summer.
"I'm loyal," said the third-year coach. "I always go back to who was good to me. The Generals were great to me, and I enjoyed every summer coming back to play."
After three years of playing with the Generals, Oros found himself in the record books.
A right-handed pitcher, Oros is the Generals' franchise record holder in wins (10), starts (24), innings pitched (152.0) and strikeouts (123).
"I loved it," Oros said. "I'm a competitive person, and I always have been. I always wanted to play good for my school and for the Generals organization. That's who we represented when we played in the summer. I didn't want to let them down."
Oros finished his senior season at Sam Houston State as their No. 1 pitcher with an 8-1 record with a 2.52 ERA in 782/3 innings.
"My first collegiate start at the Division I level was against Rice, and we won," he said. "I remember every detail of that day. It was awesome, and it's something I will never forget."
After college, Oros played professional baseball for two seasons with the White Sands Pupfish of the Pecos League and the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League.
He was looking for his next opportunity.
"I always knew that I wanted to be a part of the game after I was done playing," Oros said. "I think once I got out of junior college that I wasn't go to play that much, so I had to think of other ways to try to stay in the game. My dad umpired for 26 years, but I didn't want to do that. So the next best thing to do was to coach."
Oros was named the Generals head coach in 2015 at the age of 25.
"The one thing that I was worried about was my age," Oros said. "I was worried about how the players would respond to someone who was near their age. But after coaching the team, the players trusted me in what I was doing."
Oros has seen himself develop throughout his three years of coaching for the Generals.
Oros currently holds a 93-66 overall record before the Generals faced the Texarkana Twins on Friday at Riverside Stadium.
"I have grown a lot each year," Oros said. "Coming right out of professional baseball helped me a lot, and I'm just looking to help these guys on the team get better each day."
"Mike puts his heart in everything he does for the city of Victoria," said general manager Mike Yokum, the vice president and general manager of the Generals. "He's always wanted to put a good quality product on the field when he was playing and now that he's coaching. It was great to watch him grow and develop as a player, and now watching him as a coach has been great."
Oros has been a part of the Generals for five of their seven years in existence: Three years as a player, and is now in his third season as the head coach, and he was also a volunteer coach.
Generals catcher Christian Caudle has played for Oros each of his three years and holds a special bond with his head coach.
"As soon as I got here, we hit it off," Caudle said. "I grew up in Klein, and he coaches at Kingwood (greater Houston area) so he knows about me through my coaches. He does a great job with the guys. He deals with a lot of personalities each year, but he knows how to handle everyone and all the players respect him. A lot of these guys in this locker room want to be coaches, so it's good to have someone you know to go for advice about our future."
Oros teaches physical education at Hidden Hollow Elementary School.
He has aspirations to take the next step in coaching.
"I would like to coach in college, but it has to be the right fit," Oros said. "I have gotten offers before, but I have turned them down because they haven't been at the right time. Me and my wife, Kacie, are happy and she has always been supportive."
Yokum and team owner Tracy Young have had open discussions about Oros' future with the Generals.
"The job is his," Yokum said. "He's done a great job of coaching, and we like what he's built. It's always good having a coach back every season. We look forward to working with Mike."
Oros plans for a longer career with the Generals.
"I will be here for as long as they will have me," Oros said. "I have a great relationship with Tracy and Mike, and I help in the offseason as much as I can. I love the community of Victoria. This feels like home, and I'm glad to be a part of this organization."