Kodiak’s athletic community lost an icon this past weekend with the passing of Joe “Coach” Floyd.
Floyd and his wife Carolyn moved to Kodiak in the 1950s. He was a teacher, coach and athletic director.
For many years he was Kodiak High School’s only coach and developed virtually every sport, as well as many non-sporting events.
In fact, Coach Floyd was responsible for starting most of Kodiak’s wide range of athletics and sports programs at the high school.
And it wasn’t just the jocks, or the best players, Floyd was there to encourage non-players and those who excelled in non-sport activities.
Larry LeDoux is the superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough Schools. Since he grew up in Kodiak, he remembers Floyd from his earliest days as both a teacher and a mentor.
LeDoux: “When I became one of his students, he would sort of take care of me because I was a tall non-basketball player. And when I became a teacher, he used to advise me and help me. And when I became a principal, he again advised and mentored me. And no matter what job I’ve had, whether it’s a teacher, assistant principal, principal, superintendent, Commissioner, every time I met Joe, he was always there to give me solid advice. And to tell me he supported me and was proud of me.
“And the same thing happened the last time I talked with him, it was, ‘I’m proud of you, don’t forget activities.” And so I will miss him. He played a big part of my life in my career growing up in Kodiak.”
Wall: “As he has for just about anybody who’s gone to school, or at least several years ago, and then from then back, he’s he was instrumental in starting virtually everything in terms of sports at the schools. Correct?”
LeDoux: “There’s no doubt about it and he was an advocate for proper facilities. I know Northstar when they were building Northstar and they were building a smaller gym and Joe showed up at the borough meeting and said, ‘You need a bigger gym. So we can do activities there.’ and the next thing, we had a bigger gym. That’s all it took was for Joe to stand up and say this is what we need for kids and it would happen. It wouldn’t matter whether it was the borough assembly, or the school board, or the city council. They all listened to Joe. |And most people on any of those bodies remember him as probably one of their teachers.”
Son, Max Floyd spoke with KMXT in December. He said one of the special things about his father was Coach’s love and encouragement to all kids, not just athletes. And that helped to keep kids interested in school activities, and away from drugs or other problematic activities.
“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.”
Max Floyd was in Kodiak in December, during the 53rd Annual Joe Floyd Basketball Tournament, which is named in honor of Coach Floyd.