“I enjoy seeing everybody get the chance to perform their personal best effort.”
Claudius Napoleon Shropshire III has a name that is also an alphabet. “There are exactly 26 letters in my name,” he says. “And I never add the ‘III’ when I sign something because it never fits on the forms.”
With a degree in social ecology and community health, Coach Shropshire is entering his sixth year at SMC. “I started as the women’s assistant track coach,” he says. “And now I’m the head of men’s track and field and cross country.” He says coaching men’s teams has been an interesting shift for him. “I’ve always coached women,” he says. “And I find that they are usually a lot more attentive, more focused.”
But whether his athletes are men or women, Coach Shropshire stresses bringing them to the point where they’re pushing for their own personal best. “I just love coaching,” he says. “And if the number 8 person on a team improves their results, that’s as exciting for me as it is for the number 1 person to win.”
Coach Shropshire involves himself in a constant upgrading of his own skills to better guide SMC athletes. “I go to a lot of sports clinics,” he says. “And I read a lot about education in general and the particular sports I teach. I want them to get on to the next point. And that can mean anything,” he says, “from improving their long jump to helping them find their way to a four-year college.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the
SMC Student Spotlight Archive.