McKenzie#039;s Lowe honored with Female Coach of the Year award

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 8, 2005

A teacher from a small community school in Butler County has won a very big honor.

Cindy Lowe, a teacher and coach at McKenzie School, was recently selected as Female Athletic Coach of the Year. The honor is courtesy of the Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (ASAHPERD).

The presentation will be made at a banquet slated for Nov. 15 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham.

Lowe, an AUM graduate who recently obtained her master's degree at Alabama State University, was nominated for the honor by AUM professor, Dr. Pat Floyd.

McKenzie Principal Randy Williams said Lowe's award was &#8221a good indication of the quality of our faculty and staff at McKenzie School, and the Butler County School System as well.“

&#8221She is willing to do whatever it takes to help make our program here a successful one,“ Williams said.

And in a small school like McKenzie's, that can mean wearing a multitude of hats.

&#8221I teach math, P.E. – that's both high school and elementary – coach JV boys' basketball, and varsity girls' basketball and softball…yes, I stay busy, it's definitely a challenge,“ Lowe said with a smile.

&#8221You just have to step up as needed to fill in wherever you are needed.“

Lowe practices what she preaches.

She drives the varsity football team's bus, helps with the laundry and, last weekend, Lowe spent part of her Saturday morning delivering footage of Friday night's game.

Last year, Lowe also got special training in Opp and Greenville in order to teach the school's new archery program.

Now in her 14th year at the school, the teacher and coach described McKenzie School as &#8221like a family.“

&#8221Everyone knows each other; everyone does things together. We count on one another,“ Lowe said.

When asked what is the biggest challenge she faces during the school year, Lowe answered, &#8221Girls'basketball.“

&#8221Basketball is more traditionally a boy's sport. The girls have to learn how to be more aggressive on the court – and they do learn,“ the coach said.

It can be a balancing act as she deals with

shifting adolescent emotions.

&#8221Sometimes feelings get hurt and tempers flare – and that's something else you have to deal with.“

The best part of it all?


&#8221I've been working with these girls for 14 years, and to finally have a winning season was great. They are able to see the big picture now, and that excites me,“ Lowe said.

The award-winning teacher and coach said she grew up with three brothers, and athleticism just came naturally to her.

&#8221I always loved to play. Jennifer Brown at AUM also really encouraged me to pursue this field,“ she said.

&#8221What better way to make a living than to play, and get paid for it,“ Lowe said with a grin.

&#8221I'm just glad we have Cindy here in McKenzie.

What's great is there are a lot of ‘Cindy Lowes' in this system,“ Williams said.

&#8221We have many teachers in this system willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done right.“