Apex’s very own Roy Cooper wins Male Coach of the Year

Every year, The North Carolina High School athletics association picks a Male and Female coach of the year. This year, the NCHSSA picked Apex’s very own, Roy Cooper as the Male Coach of the Year. I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Cooper about this major accomplishment.

Q: How long have you been coaching?

A: I have been coaching for a total of thirty-four years, all of which have been at Apex.

Q: Why did you decide to start coaching, or what made you want to Coach?

A: I applied for a job at Apex, and I knew the school had various activities that they needed help with. I know academics don’t fill it for everybody, and I have expertise in running.

Q: What other awards have you received/won?

A: I have won many Coach of the year for Cross-country and track, and I won the NC High School Athletics Sportsmanship award in 1994.

Q: How do your coaching reflect in your classroom?

A: It is easier to get the point across in the track/xc than it is in the classroom. Perseverance must be apparent in life to be successful. Figure out what you want. At times I have been unsuccessful in the classroom and in track/xc. But you must focus to succeed. One of my former students, one of whom is a professor credits to me for them being successful. I am happy to be able to have helped that student, but I simply can’t reach everyone.

Q: What is your best and worst moment?

A: I would say my best recent memory is when Bobby Gunshefski was running the 3200m. It was a fantastic race and we were in fifth place. On the last lap, around the back stretch he had a good finish kick, and was neck-neck with the second place runner. We were beat by .01 of a second. The thing that sticks out to me about that, is the effort shown and seeing someone click when they understand their potential. My worst memory would be when a few male students from Apex made derogatory comments to a female from another school. People of all backgrounds and walks of life participate in high school sports. Some are better than others, but it doesn’t diminish the ability of the other students. We have to value all athletes, and look at the effort shown.

Q: What does this award mean to you?

A: I want to first off thank Coach Trezona. He is somebody who does not get a lot of recognition, but we have been coaching together for twenty-seven years now. I would not be here without him. To me though, this award means longevity. I have tried to support kids from teams all around the state, providing opportunities for many student’s at different schools. While my priority is at Apex, I ended up here because it had an opening. I am very happy I have stayed here.

Q: Anything else that you would like to add?

A: Personal recognition is built on a massive number of people, including my very supportive wife, parents of students who have helped, and many good coaching friends who have guided me along the way. I was hired as an AD, but I also wanted something else to do after school, and that’s where XC/Track came into place.

Congratulations to Mr. Cooper on this major accomplishment. We hope he will continue to set a fantastic example for students in and out of the classroom.

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