Basketball players from four off-island school are in Kodiak this weekend for the 53rd Annual Joe Floyd Tournament.
KMXT’s Maggie Wall has this report on the tournament’s namesake.
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Joe and Carolyn Floyd are household names for long-time Kodiak residents.
So who is Joe Floyd?
For the answer to that we spoke with Kodiak Island Borough School District’s Activities Director, Debbie Rohrer.
“And anyways, what an amazing man and an awesome influence in so many kids’ lives. You know, unfortunately, a lot of our high school students now know the name, don’t really don’t know who he is, because they’ve gotten older [Joe and Carolyn Floyd] and they can’t come out to the games anymore. But there’s a lot of alumni and a lot of people in our community who he’s the face that they know for the Joe Floyd games
While Floyd and his wife Carolyn don’t get to games now a day, Rohrer grew up in Kodiak and she said he was always at youth sporting events. Including hers…
“He started something amazing and Kodiak with the sports and activities. And I’m glad that I can be a part of that when I was growing up. I remember I played baseball as a kid and then moved on to play softball and play basketball. And so, I mean, Coach Floyd was, you know, at these ball games and stuff. And I remember him watching me play as I was a kid and then he came up and would always interact and talk. And as a high school student during the Joe Floyd Christmas tournament, come up and talk.
“And then after I graduated from college, I came back and I coached High School softball, and, you know, he always wanted to know what was going on.”
The Floyd’s son Max, who is actually Joe the Third, said his father, and his mother Carolyn, always pushed him and others to be the best they can be.
Carolyn Floyd, herself, was a woman of note. As the founding president of Kodiak College, she was at one time she was one of a handful of women college presidents in the U.S.
More recently she served nine consecutive two-year terms–18 years–as Kodiak’s mayor.
“Yeah, so well, Joe and Carolyn Floyd are longtime residents arriving in Kodiak in the mid 50s. People that have given to this community in a time when the community was looking to for leadership, looking for people that will make a difference and change their lives. they were looking for someone.
“This has always been a working town. This is a working town and moms and dads have kids are in the homes that that have all this energy bound up that they needed someone, in mom’s setting needed to have someone to continue their education in the college. and give them hope that they can get a degree right here on the island.
“And so on the sports front, you know dad was there to provide opportunities that that wasn’t ever there. Now obviously when he first got here, we always had basketball, you know and, and things like that. But we didn’t have wrestling. We didn’t have you know, track and field and cross country and swimming and eventually you know, turned into volleyball. And now you know they have with football and all those kind of things that that were after dad was here.”
And for the kids who weren’t so good at sports, those that didn’t make varsity or j-v? Joe has a special place in his heart for them as well, so they, too didn’t get to slack off if Joe was around.
“And see the one thing about dad, it wasn’t just for the Chosen Few. It wasn’t just for the athlete that makes the star athletic team. Dad always had programs for everybody called intramurals.
“Intra means within, murals, the walls of the school. So the one hour before school would start and the first hour after school, dad would have intramural sports–badminton, table tennis, flag, football, soccer, softball, all these kind of things. For the everyday students.
“Because he knew that if he kept them active, kept them believing in, looking forward to something, then they’re going to stay away–and they’re going to think about–when those vices come calling that can destroy and really pull people away from a productive, successful life.
Both Director Rohrer and Max Floyd said Joe touched thousands through his years involved in local youth athletics.
“They had something within them that always wanted to better themselves, to have a better family situation and raise their kids better than their family. Just give their kids something they never had, you know.
“And not just their kids. See the deal is, that they have been parents to not just us Floyd kids, they’ve been parents, you just talk to people. And there’s not just dozens, and not just hundreds. There’s probably in the thousands of people that they’ve touched their lives, and been there, kind of their mentor, surrogate dad. That have loved on them and believed in them, and held them accountable, and discipline them and said, ‘Hey, you need trial for this.’”
The Joe Floyd Christmas Tournament features teams from Glennallen, Homer, Dimond, Delta and Kodiak.
Games are being held in the high school gym through Saturday.
There is a charge for admission–$6.00 for adults—with funds raised will go to the high school booster club, which helps fund sports and activities at the high school.