Garcia has coaching award named after him

Published 12:33 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NATCHEZ — Cathedral athletic director Roy Garcia has already received numerous honors and awards in his 40 years at the school, but his latest honor might have been the most special one of all.

The Mississippi Association of Coaches, of which the retiring athletic director has been a member of for many years, announced at their latest board meeting that they were creating the “Roy Garcia Coach of the Year” award, which would be given annually to a coach, regardless of sport, that best represents the values that the MAC stands for.

The award will be separate from the MAC Coach of the Year award the coaches association gives out, which typically goes to the coach of a state championship team.

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MAC executive director Johnny Mims said the Garcia award would be given to coaches who don’t necessarily have championship trophies.

“There are lots of coaches out there who never get to the finals but are great coaches that represent what we stand for as an organization,” Mims said. “They are the kind of coaches you would want your children to play for.”

And naming the award after Garcia was only natural, seeing how much he has contributed to high school athletics across the state, Mims said.

“It’s because of the kind of person he is, what he exemplifies and what he stands for,” Mims said. “Everybody respects him so much and looks up to him.

“There have been other coaches who have retired that have coached as long as him but we’ve never done anything like this for anyone else. When the coaches from across the state stand up and say he is the pillar of what we’re about, that’s a strong statement.”

Garcia said he was honored to have an award named after him.

“This is the greatest honor I’ve gotten so far,” Garcia said. “The coaches association represents the whole state and has over 3,000 members, so to be honored in this way is a great honor.”

Garia was especially honored that the award would be given to coaches who make a difference.

“It’s great to win a championship, but what’s more important is how did you win it,” Garcia said. “Did you do the things for the kids that you should have been doing? Everything you do in the coaching profession is for the kids.”

Garcia said he will be looking forward to coming back and presenting the award in person each year at the MAC coaching clinic during the summer.

“I’ll come back to present the award as long as I can,” he said. “I’ll make it a point to be there.”