Steven Barbour agrees that there’s a lingering stigma among some in the education profession that coaches don’t make the best teachers.
While he may agree with that notion, he and coaches like him are doing everything they can to erase it from everyone’s memory.
Earlier this year, Barbour was named the All American Athletic Conference girls soccer coach of the year.
Recently he picked up a second major award as he was named Terry Sanford High School’s teacher of the year for his work with advanced world history and Foundations of Knowledge honors.
“I come from a family of educators, and I’ve had some tremendous mentors throughout my career,” said Barbour, a graduate of South View High School.
He trained under a trio of former Tiger coaches who all guided teams to state championships, including Randy Ledford in baseball, Ron Miller in boys’ basketball and Brent Barker in girls’ basketball.
Barbour said he learned an important lesson from the first athletic director to hire him, longtime coach and former South View athletic director Ronnie Luck. Luck told him that the paycheck for teaching was larger than the one for coaching at the high school level.
“That stuck with me,” he said. “I really work hard in the classroom. I put everything I have into teaching and coaching.”
One thing he feels carries over to both endeavors is rewarding students and athletes who put in hard work and get results.
“It’s my job to make them successful if they are working hard,” he said. “That’s the biggest carryover.”
He finds it refreshing to teach and coach students who are energetic and want to be in the classroom or on the team.
“My whole career, I’ve had the chance to teach students who are motivated and enjoy learning,” he said. “It’s a wonderful experience.”
Another key to being both a good teacher and coach for Barbour is building relationships in both roles.
“I work harder for students that I build a good relationship with, and they work harder for me,”
He hopes the teacher of the year honor will serve as a reminder to young coaches who excel in the field and the classroom.
“I’m not unique,” he said. “There are a lot of mentors.”
Baseball stars recognized on All-State baseball team
A number of Cumberland County high school baseball players were honored this week by the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association.
Three were named to the 3-A All-State team. They are Ethan Nobles and Josh Mozingo of Terry Sanford and Mason Hughes of Cape Fear.
Also honored was Pine Forest’s Isaiah Pinero, who was chosen NC tip BCA All-Region 3 and 4 team.
Terry Sanford golf team ranked No. 1 in state
The Bulldogs were rated ahead of 4-A champion Pinecrest (No. 6), 2-A champion East Surry (No. 2), 1-A champion Mitchell (unranked), NCISAA Division I champion Charlotte Latin (No. 5), Division II champion Greensboro Day (unranked) and Division III champion Gaston Day (No. 3).
Terry Sanford High School interim Principal Rhonda Hill, at the school’s graduation exercises, was proclaimed Teacher of the Year Steven Barbour.
Follow Earl Vaughan Jr. on Twitter @EarlVaughanJr