Meant to be a Mentor – Shane Roberts ’96

Shane Roberts ‘96 knows from his own athletic experiences and his love of coaching youth sports the kind of impact a coach can have on a young person’s life. For over 25 years Roberts has had coaching roles in the Bexley Schools. It all started when Roberts, at age 18 and a freshman at Capital University, was tapped by Steve Podlasiak to help coach the large Bexley Middle School track team. 

Throughout his time at Capital (where he lettered in football in 1996,1997 and 1998), the pull to keep coaching was strong. Roberts soon became a familiar face on Bexley’s playing fields, courts and mats, making sure that whatever job he was working provided him with time to coach.  Taking a full time position as an Instructional Aide at Bexley Middle School in 2012 allowed him to use his coaching skills to mentor young people in the classroom as well as serve as a role model. Although he always felt comfortable as a Bexley student, Roberts is well aware of the challenges that students of color can face both at school, and in and outside the Bexley community. 

Roberts own school experiences were shaped by many Bexley teachers and coaches. Bexley math teacher Mark Hayman “always went the extra mile and wasn’t as rigid as some of the other teachers at that time.” In sports, his mentors included coaches Steve Podlasiak and Thane Hecox, “who taught a lot about integrity and supporting others around you.  From Coach Gene Millard Roberts  learned that hard work and dedication pay off.  

Having a strong supportive family who raised him to believe that you should “do better for those behind you, and keep widening the trail” motivates Roberts to look for ways to do more and give more. Whether he is in the classroom or coaching (Roberts is currently the head boys track team coach and an assistant coach for the varsity football team), Roberts talks with students about how to be their best selves and prepare themselves for the lives they want to lead. 

Shane Roberts is a true mentor to so many and we are so fortunate to have him as an integral part of the fabric of our Bexley Schools community.