Former Teacher is Named New Athletic Director

Melvin Crawford, Reporter

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Lance Roberts takes on a new role as South Pointe’s athletic director. Roberts replaces Mike Drummond, who retired at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Drummond had served as the school’s athletic director since 2006.

“We had lots of people to apply; we even had people at the college level applying for this position because South Pointe, in a lot of ways, is a high profile position,” Principal Al Leonard said.

Roberts, who has been here at South Pointe for 12 years, was one of the many candidates to apply for the job.                                                                                                                                                                    

Taking over a high-profile athletic director’s position in a town as sports-crazed as Rock Hill, with three straight football state championships, would require a sharp learning curve for many. But Roberts’ longevity at South Pointe makes the transition smooth because he is accustomed to how things work within the athletics department. He served as an assistant athletic director, taught South Pointe 101 since 2005, and has been the head ninth grade football coach from 2013 to 2016.

Before Roberts arrived at South Pointe he coached softball, wrestling, football and track at Chester High School.

Roberts is a Stallion student favorite, and the father of Stallion graduates Taylor and Grant Roberts and current senior Darcy Roberts.

“From my understanding, everybody loves Coach Roberts because he can relate really well to the students and the athletes,” said student body president Nakia McCloud, a varsity basketball and football player. “I’m very happy with Coach Roberts because that’s my guy; we’ve been really close since ninth grade, so that’s the best option we could have had.”

Varsity basketball player Austin Wilson had a similar opinion to McCloud. Wilson believes that Coach Roberts is a great fit for the position and that he is not only the best guy for the athletic program, but also for the school.

Not only do students and athletes support Roberts as the new athletic director, so do the coaches and athletic staff.

Men’s varsity head basketball Coach Melvin Watson said, “I’m happy for Coach Roberts; this has been a long-time goal for him. He has been doing this a number of years, from Chester to South Pointe. He has a lot of experience; he’s a great guy to be around and he did a great job coaching the ninth grade football team, so I’m not surprised this decision was made because he’s a very hard worker. I think he’s going to be fair and wants everybody to work together to have a successful athletic program.”

Varsity head football Coach Strait Herron said that he has all the confidence in the world for Roberts and has no doubt that he’ll do a great job as South Pointe’s athletic director. Herron described Roberts as being a “worker.”

“He works hard in everything, everything is important to him and he’s very conscientious,” Herron said. “When you put those two things together you’re going to have a person that’s going to do any job and it won’t matter what position he’s in so he’s perfect for the position.”

Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Michael Belk, one of the administrators who advised Dr. Leonard during the hiring process, acknowledges that there were a lot of candidates from not only here at South Pointe but from all over. Belk feels Roberts stood out above all the other candidates because of his high motor, work ethic, and care for the students.

“He’s very passionate about doing what’s best for the students,” Belk said.

Other administrators suggested certain candidates, but the final call belonged to Dr. Leonard. The principal is pleased with the decision and also feels like Roberts has come in and done a great job.

“I’ve seen first hand that he’s a workaholic, a high energy guy, so I just feel fortunate to have somebody on staff that can slide into that role as opposed to bringing someone in and having them take a while to learn the school and get to know people,” said Dr. Leonard. “He was chosen because I knew him. You know people come in and you have to interview them and make decisions based on that interview because that’s all you got plus the references. But I saw firsthand as far as the good character, good work ethic and the love for the school that Roberts had which made it a lot easier.”

Roberts was asked if this new position was something he actually wanted or was just another job applied for and how he feels he’ll perform in the new position.

Roberts said, “I was excited when I was announced the new AD. The athletic director role is big shoes to fill, I’ve always wanted to be an athletic director in the back of my mind, so when the job opened up, it was the perfect opportunity. I don’t want to let people down, I’m not used to failure and there are going to be times when I upset people or when I have to make a decision that somebody doesn’t like, but it all comes with the job and that’s new for me.”

Accepting the new AD position means Roberts will have to give up teaching and coaching. He says that he knew everything that would come with this new position. Since he has been teaching at South Pointe for a long time, Roberts thought that he would miss it, but he acknowledges that he hasn’t had much time to think about it with all of the AD responsibilities that come along.

“My life as being a teacher, coach, and AD will end right here at South Pointe when the time comes. I don’t have any interest in being an administrator, so this will probably be the highest position for me,” said Roberts.

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Former Teacher is Named New Athletic Director