By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: August 15, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – After 36 years of working side-by-side with Prince George High School’s baseball teams, 23 of those years as head coach, Mickey Roberts has formally retired. Last Thursday, was the first day in a very long time that Roberts could no longer officially be called “coach,” although it’s a good bet that the title may be with him for a very long time, if not for the rest of his life.
“Coach Mickey Roberts’ retirement is a well-deserved phase in his life, but will leave PGHS with a major void to fill,” remarked Hezekiah Butler, Athletic Director, Prince George High School. “The entire Roberts family has been a part of this community and school for nearly four decades, as teachers, coaches, and students. The commitment they have made to the kids and activities is really unprecedented. Coach Roberts has truly built a premier program in Central Virginia that can serve as a model for all high school sports.”
Roberts’ professional accomplishments, accolades, and highlights as head coach for Prince George High School are truly exceptional, extensive, and somewhat legendary. Roberts was six-time Central District Coach of the Year. He was two-Time Conference 12 Coach of the Year. He was two-Time Group 5A South Region Coach of the Year. Roberts was the 2018 VHSL Group 5A State Coach of the Year. He was the 2018 & 2019 VHSCA All-Star Game Coach. He was the 2018 NFHS State of Virginia Coach of the Year. He was the coach of the 9th District/Conference Championship Teams and Regional Championship Teams. Coach Roberts was the coach of the 2018 State Championship Team. His coaching record is 338-151.
“I want to thank the many baseball families that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years,” Roberts said. “These are the people who have helped build the tremendous program that we have at Prince George High School, and I am grateful to each and every one of them.”
He is well-known around the baseball field, but he is also known for being a family man. His wife, Anne, matches Mickey’s love and enthusiasm for the game and has also worked to ensure the success of Prince George baseball and USSSA tournaments in Virginia. Baseball and Virginia Military Institute run deep in the Roberts’ family. Both of the Roberts’ sons are VMI alumnus. Mike Roberts was drafted in 2008 by the Milwaukee Brewers and had a five-year career. Sam Roberts was drafted in 2011 by the Oakland A’s, and also had a five-year career. Mike is currently in training as a Henrico County firefighter while Sam is the pitching coach at VMI.
The Roberts’ daughter, Maggie, a Longwood University graduate like her dad, is a doctoral student and teacher at West Virginia University. All three children are graduates of Prince George High School.
“We are so blessed to have met some terrific friends throughout the years of baseball,” Anne Roberts shared. “The parents have always been willing to help do anything they were asked, such as bringing meals or picking up someone from practice. Truly, we have had the best parents ever! I personally have had some terrific ladies that have helped me for a very long time in the concession stand. I thank Becky Haydt, Trudy Hayes, Janet Worley, Mary Lauranzon, Darlene Johnson, Ann Morrissette, Penny Clements, and our daughter, Maggie. I also thank those guys that would cook for us, especially Jim Cooper and Bruce Carroll!”
Roberts was a graduate of Longwood College and a four-year member of its baseball team. It’s not hard to see why Roberts went on to stay with baseball for his entire working career when looking at his baseball accomplishments during those four years at Longwood. Roberts was a member of the 1982 Longwood Baseball team that participated in the Division II College World Series. He was named to the Division II South-Atlantic Region Teams pitcher, 1983. He had a 20-2 Career record as a pitcher at Longwood and pitched the first no-hitter in the college’s baseball history.
Mickey Roberts was inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Longwood University Hall of Fame in 2016. With 23 years as active head coach for Prince George County, Roberts is one of the most well-respected and longest-serving high school head coaches in all of Central Virginia. He continued to show his love of baseball, by helping to expand youth baseball teams and USSSA tournaments for the last 25-years. He has launched the longest active tournament in Virginia USSSA history, with different events, including the immensely-popular Quest for the Best.
In 2018, Roberts led his team to a Class 5 VHSL State Championship. He has coached many professional players over the years, including the World Series Champion Jackie Bradley, Jr.
“Winning on the diamond was a major part of Coach Roberts’ philosophy, but so was teaching boys to become men as they learned the values of commitment, self-advocacy, loyalty, and integrity,” Butler said. “His accolades speak for themselves. Of course, bringing the first state baseball title to Prince George High School in its history helps to elevate his legacy even more. As the athletic director, I always had confidence the program was managed as it should be. All the small details that people never know about, or frankly care to know about, Coach Roberts handled. Finding coaches like him today is hard. High school coaching is no longer a long-term career path for many. So to have someone of his expertise step away after the many years he committed to the PG baseball program certainly makes him irreplaceable.”