September 9th, 2011

Elementary Excellence: Our Lady of Lourdes

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer


Elementary Excellence: Our Lady of Lourdes
photo courtesy of Todd Coke

 AD will enjoy one last year leading Bearcats

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Athletic Director Todd Coke of Our Lady of Lourdes is excited for another great year of sports for the Bearcats.

But this year, it’s all the more special.

“I will be done in May of 2012 as AD,” said Coke. “It’s time to move on and give others the change to move forward, but I can’t pick a favorite memory from the years I’ve been here. I just love seeing the smiles and accomplishments of the student athletes. Over the years, I’ve been a part of a close, committed athletic group, and it’s (the AD role) in good hands when I leave.”

Coke, who grew up in Louisville attending St. Pius and Trinity High School during his younger years, has served as the Athletic Director at OLOL since 2004-2005. Now, a manager at UPS, Coke says he looks at his time at OLOL with the highest regard.

“I’ve seen multiple city championships here in basketball, volleyball and cross country,” said Coke. “We’ve also won our fair share in football. Our field hockey is a good program, and we are looking to add field hockey in our third and fourth grades next year.”

Along with success throughout sports programs, Coke says he is proud of the message the parish sends to the student athletes.

“Everyone wants to win, but we promotes self esteem and respect of others through competition in a Christian manner,” said Coke. “We are a very close knit parish, and we want to provide an opportunity for every child to participate (in sports).

Coke, who has three children with the oldest child in eighth grade at OLOL, says he hopes the key ideals of athletics continue on this year and every year with the right priorities in check.

“Our goal is not to just win championships. If it happens, it happens,” said Coke. “We want to have fair share of playing for the kids and develop the kids with the right fundamentals. We want to teach sportsmanship.”

Our Lady of Lourdes offers 17 sports to the student athletes, and well as “clinic style play” for the younger grades such as kindergarten in soccer, volleyball and flag football.

“We have had outstanding participation,” said Coke. “Each year seems to grow with more participation, and we are looking to sustain growth.”

The sports teams of OLOL compete in a “very well kept up” gymnasium and athletic field, according to Coke. In addition, the students pair up and use space with St. Leonard and Sacred Heart Model School.

Coke, when looking back on his time at OLOL, says one of his largest successes as AD was helping to start online registration for sports.

“It’s a very streamline process, and you can pay online,” said Coke. “It’s easy for parents and volunteers, and it saves time.”

And as Coke moves on from his role this upcoming spring, he says he still wants to watch the young athletes of OLOL take what they learn in grade school athletics onto high school and beyond for life.

Said Coke: “People say the AD only gets complaints or is there to reinforce the rules, but it hasn’t been that way. It’s been a good assignment. It’s really a joy to see a kid succeed, be a part of a team, make a contribution, and see the athletes learn and prosper.”

 

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