Feature: Athletic Director Lance Roberts Announces Retirement


Athletic director Lance Roberts announces his retirement from South Pointe High School.

Since South Pointe opened in 2005, Athletic Director Lance Roberts has been a part of the Stallion community as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and, especially, a leader.

As of on May 1, 2018, Roberts announced his plans to retire and finish his career in the educational field. Teaching for 28 years, 13 years for South Pointe, Roberts has made his name known around South Carolina.

Roberts started his career as a warehouse worker for the supermarket company Winn-Dixie in Chester, doing hard labor such as emptying trucks, lifting packages of produce, and more. After moving to Clemson in 1985 for his college education, Roberts became a student equipment manager, leading to him fulfilling the head manager position his junior and senior year for the Clemson football team.

Majoring in secondary education in social studies and managing the football team, Roberts learned how to balance school and life with key principles he later taught in his classes. Beginning his educational career at Chester High School, Roberts taught geography with a spin.

Roberts included the fundamentals and basics of becoming the best person you can be in his geography class, which was the basis of his upcoming South Pointe 101 class.

Roberts was teaching geography when the new founding principal of South Pointe, Dr. Al Leonard, came to Chester high school to observe his classroom and teaching skills.

Roberts had an upcoming interview to work at the new school South Pointe, and took the opportunity to introduce himself to the new principal while Leonard observed him. Enjoying the original teaching style Roberts’ used, Leonard saw Roberts as a great fit for the new school.

On interview day, Roberts walked into the interview with high hopes, praying he made a good impression on the principal and would successfully get a job at the new high school. Applying for the geography job, the interviewers saw a better class for Roberts- the first teacher of South Pointe 101.

South Pointe 101 is a ninth grade class that prepares students for living in the real world and becoming adults. With a combination of health related subjects and the basics of principles to being the best person you can be in life. Roberts paired up with Dr. Adrianne Knight and taught the key principles portion of the class while Knight taught the health-related subjects.

After finding out he successfully got the job at the new school, Roberts took his children on an adventure. While South Pointe was still being built, he decided he wanted to be the first teacher to see the building. Taking along his three children Darcy , Taylor and Grant, they snuck into the building under construction that we know as South Pointe.

Roberts, known for being a family, faith-based man, also has a love for football, especially Clemson football. Attending every game because of his position as athletic director, Roberts shows as much spirit for South Pointe athletics as he does for Clemson athletics.

Alongside of teaching South Pointe 101, Roberts continued his title as a coach by coaching football and softball for many years, starting at Chester High School, rolling into South Pointe’s athletics. Although he started his South Pointe coaching career off with girls softball, Roberts focused on his ninth grade football team that often went undefeated.

Known for his love of sports, when Roberts noticed the position to be athletic director was opening up after his colleague, Mike Drummond retired, he took his shot, interviewed for the position. Roberts fit the criteria with amazing things to offer to the athletic program of South Pointe.

Stress was a part of the new job and Roberts knew that taking on the position. Accounting for 52 coaches, 563 athletes, and around 700-800 parents is hard work no doubt, but Roberts was capable of handling it.

Having the mentality in life to be a server, giver, and doer of anything for anybody whether it’s the students, the football players, the coaches or teachers, Roberts began to take on too much work for his lifestyle.

“I’m willing to do those little odd things that other coaches don’t want to do, giving more, but to me, man, when your lifestyle and your health is kind of put in jeopardy some, I just said, “Man what are you doing?”” said Roberts, explaining the difference of the new job’s workload and stress he had taken on.

Loved by the players, coaches, parents, and more, Roberts did an outstanding job as an athletic director, but all things do seem to come to an end.

Practicing his faith, Roberts looked to God and his family in this new situation, deciding to talk over his options with his wife, Laura Roberts, a first grade teacher at Chester Elementary.

After long thoughts thinking long and hard about his new job, Roberts decided to retire not because he disliked his job but because, “When it comes down to it, I guess I’m retiring because I can. I’m finally doing something for Lance,” said Roberts.

Saying it best Ron Cauthen, the school’s facility maintenance worker stated, “Lance was made to be AD, but the AD job wasn’t made for Lance”, which was exactly right.

When retirement was a done deal in Roberts’ mind, he decided he wanted to share the news and announce it. With the plan of telling all the coaches who worked on-site individually when he passed them in the halls, Roberts also wrote up an email to all the coaches, operation managers, and concessions people, who help with sports to try and include everyone.

Knowing that the news would spread quickly, Roberts confirmed with Leonard that he was retiring, and then the news broke. Getting texts from coaches and colleagues at different schools, Roberts decided to make a phone call announcing to all the students, teachers, and parents that this year would be his last year at South Pointe.

“Heck, yeah, I’m satisfied! I’m just going to say I think I did great. I think I tried to help every sport. I went and travelled,” said Roberts.

Along with Roberts’ satisfaction of his job, “The school of South Pointe has been nothing but amazed by the work Roberts has done for the athletic program and for every sport here” said sophomore Maddie Smith.

Not known as a couch potato, Roberts will be staying active after his retirement. While working at a farm in Chester, Roberts will also be commuting to Clemson more often to visit his daughter, Darcy, who starts at the university in the fall.

Teaching for 28 years and serving as an athletic director for 1 year, Roberts feels he has succeeded as an educator and person.

“Loved by parents, coaches, athletes, teacher, students, and more, Roberts will always be known as a legacy in South Pointe in our school and in the athletic field,” said Smith.