Sherando hires Stonewall Jackson grad Roberts as cross country coach

Megan Roberts

Sherando didn’t have to look very far when looking for a new boys and girls cross country coach. The school announced on Wednesday that Megan Roberts was the new head coach of the two programs.

The 2006 Stonewall Jackson graduate has been the Sherando cross country assistant coach for the last five years. Roberts said that when the head coach position was open, she felt like it was an opportunity that she needed to pursue.

“I’ve worked with a lot of these kids for several years,” Roberts said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “And I wanted to continue working with them and be there to support them and help them grow as athletes and people hopefully. I wanted to stay around the kids, and I have some ideas for the program. So I decided to go for it.”

Jamie McCarty did not have his coaching contracts renewed by the school last month, after being the head coach for the last five seasons.

Roberts said she enjoyed her five years working with McCarty in the cross country program.

“I learned a ton from Jamie (McCarty) as far as training and interacting with the kids,” Roberts said. “I learned a lot. I’m really grateful that I got to work with him and learned a lot from him.”

Roberts said that she told the team on Wednesday morning that she had been named the head coach and the athletes seemed very positive and happy to have her as coach.

Roberts was a standout runner in cross country and track and field at Stonewall Jackson and also ran cross country and track and field at Christopher Newport University. She graduated from CNU in 2010.

She said that she learned a lot from her coaches both in high school and college.

“My high school coaches and college coaches were a really big influence on my life not only as an athlete but as a person,” Roberts said. “So I really kind of look back on the things that they did to help guide how I act as a coach.”

Roberts is an assistant coach on the boys and girls track and field team and also has served as an assistant coach for the boys and girls swim team in the past. She is a Spanish teacher at Sherando.

Sherando Coordinator of Student Activities Jason Barbe said in a news release that Roberts will be a good fit for the cross country head coach job.

“Coach Roberts has been a great asset to our athletic program serving as an assistant coach for several of our teams,” he stated. “The experience she’s gained and rapport she’s developed with members of the cross country team while serving as an assistant coach will help her as she transitions into the role of head coach.”

Sherando advanced to regionals in both boys and girls cross country last season. Roberts said she feels good about where the programs are at right now.

“On both sides, we’ve got a lot of talent coming back,” she said. “We’ve got some freshmen with a lot of potential. I think it’s a great place to start and do some building and kind of develop them in a lot of ways. There’s some things that I’d like to add to the program that will be kind of new for the kids, but I think will benefit them physically and mentally. Like maybe adding some strength training or yoga and more stretching and things like that. But also I’d like to teach them about the sport and make sure that they understand why we do the things that we do. Not just go run, but tell them the purpose of everything that we do and just have a lot of transparency with that.”

Roberts said that she always had a passion for running and to be able to be a head coach in a sport she loves means a lot to her.

“Running has been a big part of my life,” she said. “And it’s not just a sport; it teaches you about life. And being on a cross-country team teaches you about interacting with other people. Like I said, the coaches that I had when I was growing up were a tremendous impact on my life, helping me get through personal issues and just to grow as a person and to be good role models for me. So to be able to share the passion that I have for running and also kind of be that figure that I had that feels pretty special.”