Chris Roy had been at West Forsyth High School for 10 years, and in that time he’d formed friendships, seen success in multiple sports and grown attached to the community surrounding the school. It was going to take something particularly special for him to leave.
At Lambert, that’s just what happened. Girls basketball assistant coach Carolyn Whitney took the head coaching job at Brookwood, girls golf head coach Katie Rosser took the same job at Cherokee, and a physical education teaching position opened up.
Roy is the man for all three of those jobs. Next year, he’ll join the staff of a basketball program that just made the deepest playoff run in school history and will head up a golf team that has won five straight state titles.
“It was too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Roy said.
Roy coached West’s boys golf team for 8 years, bringing the Wolverines their first individual state qualifier, when senior Walker Slaton qualified in 2012, and their first team state appearance in 2014. This past spring, West finished fourth overall in Class 7A. Roy had accepted the job at Lambert at that point but stayed to finish the season with the Wolverines.
He now takes over a team that has perhaps the best sustained success of any program in the county. The Longhorns girls golf team have won five straight state titles, four coming under head coach Joel Posey and the most recent one under Rosser. This past spring was a particularly dramatic win: The Longhorns finished tied with Mill Creek after two rounds of play at the Chateau Elan Woodlands Course in Braselton and had to win a playoff hole to secure the title.
Roy isn’t feeling significant pressure to sustain that success, though.
“What’s happened in the past is in the past,” he said. “We’re going to look forward … look at this year as a new situation (with) new players and a new coach and try to create some new memories, and hopefully achieve some pretty good results.”
The Longhorns were a senior-laden team this spring, with three of their top four scorers – Alison Crenshaw, Loren Kim and Christine McDonnell – going on to college after this year. They have a past individual state champion in rising senior Kate Owens, though, and Lambert has shown the ability to reload in the past.
“It’ll be a younger squad,” Roy said of next year’s group. “… It’ll create a unique challenge with so many younger players and some girls that haven’t been a part of this run.”
Roy also has previous experience going from coaching boys to girls sports. He coached boys basketball for 13 years before taking a job with West’s girls team six years ago, and he found coaching the girls game to be a particularly strong fit for his personality and coaching style.
“The girls really seemed to thrive off of it,” Roy said. “So it kind of gave me a little extra boost of energy to see them be excited with the way I would coach and just felt like a good fit.”
Family was the deciding factor in Roy moving to Lambert. His wife, Rhetta, teaches social studies at the high school, and Roy’s daughter goes to the elementary school down the road.
“To increase family time as well is a pretty special thing for me at this point in my career,” Roy said.