She won her first state championship in 1973. She won her most recent in 2013.
And now, in her 54th year teaching and coaching volleyball and tennis at Miami High School, 81-year-old coach Cherry Roberds isn’t ready to retire.
Roberds, who has Miami’s girls volleyball team off to a 3-1 start, says the only thing that has slowed her in more than five decades of coaching was a knee replacement surgery eight years ago.
“I think I’m basically the same,” Roberds said. “I’m a little older and a little wiser. I still attack things the same way.
“It’s different now. You have to learn their ways with technology. Side things. Electronics. There is not as much activity as there used to be. Kids didn’t have all of that. They were eager to get involved.”
Roberds has coached her children and her grandchildren. Now, she is coaching her great-grandchildren.
Her sophomore great-grandson plays on the boys tennis team. Next year, she plans to coach her great-granddaughter, who will be a freshman, on the volleyball team.
“It’s really special when you have your own to coach,” Roberds said.
Roberds became a substitute teacher this year at Miami, after ending her long reign as a full-time teacher at the end of last school year.
This is her second year leading the volleyball team after taking eight years off from that sport.
She never stopped coaching tennis, a sport in which she has won 22 state championships with the girls. She won 10 titles in a row from 1973-82. She has two state titles with the boys. She also led Miami to girls volleyball state titles in 1987 and ’92.