Cottage Grove High School’s Gary Roberts – who for the last 12 years has served in various roles such as football coach, athletic director, assistant principal, dean of students and social studies teacher – is going back to Coos Bay. A Marshfield High School graduate, Roberts is leaving Cottage Grove and will be Marshfield’s assistant principal starting next school year.
“It was a very tough decision for me, but the opportunity to move to where I grew up and spend more time with the family was too much to turn down,” said Roberts in an email to the CGHS coaches on Thursday afternoon.
Roberts was approached for the position “a couple months ago” and as he started to explore it as an opportunity, it was just too good to pass up.
“Just being the assistant principal will provide me more time to be with my family. I won’t be at school three nights a week until 9 o’clock,” said Roberts sitting in his office at CGHS on Friday morning. “And then, it’s where I grew up; it’s home. It’s always been a special place for me. That was the kind of the biggest thing behind the decision, a chance to go home. The chance to have more time to spend with my wife and my kids.”
While he is leaving, Roberts noted that decision was made difficult because of the relationships he has built over the years.
“It’s hard because I’ve been here for 12 years. The people that I work with here in the building, the teachers the coaches that I work with are great people and they do a really good job for kids,” he said. “They make it really tough to leave. But when I weighed out all the pluses and minuses, there were just way more pluses.”
In January, Roberts announced that he was stepping down from the role of head coach after 11 seasons at the helm. The five-time Sky-Em Coach of the Year leaves as the winningest coach in school history, which includes the 2017 state title.
“(Gary Roberts) has high expectations for students and he has a belief that they can live up to them,” said CGHS principal Mike Ingman in January. “Puts every student athlete in a position to be successful and then we’ll work to make sure they are successful.”