Rangers coach Buechele on hand for QB son's debut

Rangers coach Buechele on hand for QB son's debut

Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele was given the day off Sunday by manager Jeff Banister and missed the American League West-leading club's loss to the Astros, but for good reason. The former Major Leaguer traveled to Austin to watch his son Shane make his collegiate debut as quarterback for the University of Texas.

Shane Buechele starred in the Longhorns' season opener against No. 10 Notre Dame at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas won the double-overtime thriller in dramatic fashion, outlasting the Irish, 50-47.

Buechele scored on Texas' first possession, engineering an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a 19-yard touchdown pass to receiver Armanti Foreman. Buechele finished with 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 16-for-26 passing. He also rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

"I just went up and saw him," the quarterback said of his father. "I was not sure [he'd be at the game], but I was very thankful he was able to come and just my whole family, having them here. Family's first. I love them and it was just really exciting they were here and able to see this."

"I would hope that any manager in baseball would allow that to happen," Banister said of giving Beuchele permission to attend his son's collegiate debut. "Our families sacrifice so much for us and what we do."

Buechele, a true freshman, won the starting job over senior Tyrone Swoopes, who contributed three touchdowns on the ground, including the game-winner.

"I was very excited," Buechele said on the ABC broadcast. "Everybody works hard for this moment, and it was just an exciting game. I'm glad we came out with the win."

Buechele was a four-star recruit and a two-time all-state quarterback in high school at Arlington Lamar. He passed for 6,379 yards and 73 touchdowns and rushed for 1,805 yards and 21 scores during his prep career.

The young QB admitted that during his team's postgame celebration on the field he forgot a piece of his dad's advice.

"My dad always told me not to get in the middle of a dogpile, but I couldn't help it," said Shane. "I was just in the moment and it happened."

The elder Buechele played 11 years in the big leagues as a third baseman and second baseman with the Rangers, Pirates and Cubs. He last played in 1995 for Texas, finishing his career with a .245 average and 137 home runs. He ranks second in Rangers history in games played at third base with 835.

After his retirement, Buechele worked as an analyst for Rangers broadcasts on FOX Sports Southwest and later spent six seasons as a manager in the club's farm system. He was promoted to Major League bench coach on Oct. 31, 2014.

Buechele's oldest son, Garrett, also played collegiately as a third baseman at Oklahoma. He was an unsigned 18th-round Draft pick by the Rangers in 2010 and a 14th-round selection by the Giants in 2011. Garrett played two seasons in Minors in the Giants organization.

Banister, a graduate of University of Houston, said beforehand that he would be pulling for Buechele's son and the rest of the Longhorns.

"I woke up this morning a UT fan, and that's rare," Banister quipped. "That's a family unit in there, we're all family. We're not just a band of misfits. We spend more time together than we actually spend with our real family. I guarantee you every single coach in [our clubhouse] will be a UT fan tonight."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.