New Stafford High baseball coach plans to honor Coach Mesa’s legacy
By SMSD Communications
Stafford High head baseball coach Patrick Kellner said the Spartans’ baseball program will always keep alive the memory and spirit of the late, beloved Coach Michael Mesa.
“We plan on some different things to do during the baseball season,” Kellner said. “We would like to involve his family, and have his son throw out the first pitch at a game. We look forward to honoring Coach Mesa throughout the season this year.”
Mesa, a 2008 Stafford High graduate who returned to coach varsity baseball and teach Spanish, passed away unexpectedly in April at age 26, just days after completing his second season as head coach.
The Stafford community – as well as individuals from throughout Greater Houston – showed an outpouring of support for the Mesa family.
Kellner, 32, hopes to build upon the strong foundation that Mesa started at Stafford. The married father of two children comes to Stafford from Class 3A Cotulla, where he led the Cowboys to a pair of playoff appearances after a lengthy postseason drought at the South Texas school.
Kellner said that experience helped prepare him for the Class 4A level. In addition to his baseball duties, he will teach social studies and coach middle school football at Stafford.
“I’m a positive coach,” Kellner said. “I like to coach an aggressive style of baseball. I like to steal bases and bunt for hits, and try to push the limits of things. We always want to have teams that compete and work hard.”
Kellner grew up following the footsteps of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Like LBJ, Kellner grew up in the Texas Hill Country, graduated from Texas State University and taught in Cotulla.
But their paths differ from there. Kellner isn’t interested in the White House. He would rather lead the Spartans’ baseball program to the UIL state baseball championships in Austin.