The Fred Bowers era is over at Waldron, but the Troy McVoy epoch could be a memorable one, with the possible inclusion of bowling and tennis teams in the near future.
Bowers retired after 30 years as the athletic director at the end of the 2008-09 school year and the 44-year old McVoy, who lives four miles north of Waldron, was approved as his replacement by the school board in mid-June.
After being laid off by Merillat Industries he took on some assistant coaching duties with the Waldron softball team last season, and he was one of four candidates interviewed for the AD vacancy.
Superintendent William Stitt said they are pleased to add McVoy’s passion and experience to the district.
“The biggest thing that came forth in the interview process was his organizational skills, and that’s something you’ve got to have,” he said.
McVoy was recently the bowling coach at Morenci for three years and he was a high school basketball coach at St. John’s for eight seasons.
He said he played baseball and basketball through middle school, but focused most of his high school years trying to knock down pins at the local alley.
He said he’s already trying to figure out the logistics of starting a Spartans’ bowling program and in general the sport if fairly cost effective.
Tennis is also among the cheaper sports to field teams in, and McVoy has already made some progress toward doing just that.
“Tennis is a very realistic goal. I’ve already had discussions with one local (who has a tennis court on his farm) and even though it’s just one court, we could maybe start with intramural and build it up from there,” he said.
Aside from giving kids more opportunities, McVoy wants Spartans athletes to carry themselves in a cordial manner and “make winning a priority, but not the only priority.”
“I’d like to develop more of an overall professionalism in our area. When we go visit other schools or they come here I want to them to think of us as respectful and professional in every aspect,” he said. “I know from coaching the softball team last year that there are some schools in areas north and northwest of here who might think of us as ‘lower level’ because we’re a small school. But I want to be seen as successful, in the same perspective as a lot of them are.”
McVoy said he’s always had an interest in youth athletics and has even considered pursuing a teaching certificate.
He said he realizes the job is going to be demanding at times, and will require the ability to work with many types of people, but he is ready for the challenge. He also said Bowers has been gracious enough to be of assistance when needed the first month on the job.
“On Fred’s last day, we sat down and talked for almost an hour and he has been very helpful,” he said. “He knows a lot about this job and I actually just called him with a couple of questions a few days ago.”
McVoy said one of the reasons Waldron was a good fit for him was because he thinks the kids are “extremely high caliber” and they “take direction well.”
Stitt said “he was just the right candidate” because he is well-rounded and well-versed in many areas critical to the job.
“Any position you’ve got in the school you have to get it right with, and with this one you have to really love sports, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time with them. We’re confident in the impact he is going to have at Waldron,” he said.