Coach Todd: Immortalized in History
By: Connor VanDerMark, Camille Gottholm, and Allison Hurley
Coach Kevin Todd was a beloved coach and social studies teacher at Apex High School. As one of the more experienced staff members, Coach Todd worked at Apex for twenty-nine years before his untimely passing on September 23, 2020. As the anniversary approaches, his family, friends, players, and students reflect on his life and legacy in the Apex community.
Coach Todd was far more than just a teacher and coach. He strived to create meaningful relationships with his students, as well as his coworkers. Coach Jerry Oglesby was a dear friend and colleague to Coach Todd. They knew each other for over a decade after first meeting at a coaching convention in Baltimore in 2008. Oglesby remembers Coach Todd as a caring, honest person who provided plenty of opportunities to help both students and players become successful. Currently, the varsity soccer teams have Coach Todd’s initials, KT, on the sleeves. Coach Oglesby says that tradition will continue for now, but in terms of long term memoriam they are in the process of renaming the field in his honor.
Apex High English and Speech teacher Scott Ferguson vividly remembers his time with Coach Todd. Ferguson, who goes by Ferg, has been teaching at Apex High School for twenty-seven years, but has actually known Coach Todd since his freshman year of high school. Ferg played soccer for Todd at North Garner Junior High in 1984, which coincidentally happened to be the same year Todd began coaching soccer. Even after graduating, Ferg remained in touch with Coach Todd until they eventually became co-workers in 1994. Ferg remembers Todd’s core values of being happy and having fun. Winning was amazing, but what’s the point if no fun is had? He also remembers Todd “being unconditionally in his corner.” Todd was supportive of everyone he knew, not just his close friends. Ferg remembers his last conversation with Todd. It had been a joking conversation about how well Todd aged over the years. He remembers the last time he saw that beaming smile and will never forget it. Although Todd has passed away, Ferg still keeps in frequent touch with his family, most notably his older sister Janice.
Janice Todd remembers her brother as an upbeat practical joker. Growing up, Coach Todd spent countless hours planning elaborate jokes that always put a smile on peoples’ faces. Janice says that “whether you lived in the house or you were just visiting the house, he was going to find a way to prank you.” Coach Todd was quite sociable and always strived to include everybody. His colleagues and students may not have known that Coach Todd enjoyed singing from a young age. “There were lots of times where we would be home…my mom would play the piano and we’d just all sing. He had a fantastic voice,” recalls Janice. He even starred in some musicals during his time in high school. Overall, Coach Todd was an uplifting soul who spread positivity everyday.
The students at Apex High recognized Coach Todd as an integral part of the sports and academic community. If there’s one word that comes to mind when thinking of Coach Todd, it’s soccer. Coaching Varsity Men’s and Women’s CAT soccer for twenty-nine years, he had quite an illustrious career. Winning twenty-six conference championships between both men’s and women’s soccer, he not only made an impact on the field, but in his players’ lives as well. Apex High Senior Jaques Lavielle played for Todd for two years. He described Coach Todd as a kind-hearted individual, stating, “He’s probably the nicest person I know. He was always checking up on people to see how they were.” Todd went above and beyond to ensure that each player on CAT soccer became not only a better soccer player, but a better individual. “No matter the situation, he always found the positive. Any situation where me or a player was upset and acting out of emotions, he would always have a smile and think of things from a different perspective. I learned a lot from this,” continued Jaques. The relationship between Jaques and Coach Todd helped to shape him into the player he is today. Today the Apex High Men’s Cat Soccer Team still honors Coach Todd each game with their work ethic, according to Jaques. Todd has touched the lives of many soccer players and has left quite the legacy here at Apex High.
One year later, it’s still not easy to cope with. It was a shock to us all. But we can’t let it slow us down. Coach Todd left an eternal legacy here, and we should always celebrate his life. So, in the words of the great coach, “Let’s make it a great day, folks!”