Prep Coach of the Year: Kim Robert
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The second 2022 Wyoming News Now Prep Coach of the Year will also enter retirement. Our first recipient was Laramie’s Tom Hudson, the head swimming and diving coach for the Plainsmen. He’ll be joined in the 2022 class by Cheyenne South’s Kim Robert, the Bison’s head cheer coach.
Robert has an impressive resume coaching cheer in the Cap City with stints at all three high schools, and she built the program from the ground up at South. She added another state title in the 4A Game Day category this past school year.
Wyoming News Now’s Nick Kuzma sat down with Coach Robert to talk about her legacy and what goes into leading a cheerleading program.
This interview has been edited for content and clarity.
NK: Coach Robert, you’ve had an excellent career, started in 1992, 20 state titles, but of course, we need to address the elephant in the room. You decided that this was the year to step away. Why was it time to retire?
KR: I did. I’ve been doing it a long time and for cheer, its a year-round sport. It’s not just one season and to do it right, you have to put in time in the offseason, and I was just a little tired and decided if I couldn’t give it 100% it was time to step away.
NK: That makes a lot of sense. There’s a lot of time that goes into it, and I think that not a lot of us necessarily know how much time goes into it. What goes into being a cheer coach? From the time the season starts to the time the season finishes and in the offseason.
KR: Right. Well, our offseason starts about two weeks after the state competition. We start with open gyms. We start recruiting for the next year. We start practicing for camp. June is spent practicing for camp. We go to a two-week camp. We come home. We have about two weeks off. We start practicing for the Frontier Days parades. We’re in those parades, and then, we go right into the school year. So throughout the year, we have spring break and then probably two weeks off and that’s about it. Other than that, we are practicing, conditioning, [and] lifting all year long.
NK: What would you say were some of those best memories that you have in your 30 some odd years? You also coached at all three high schools here in Cheyenne.
KR: I’ve had the privilege of coaching at East, Central and South. You know probably the athletes that grow up and become my friends, and I have a lot of them that are really good friends now. That’s probably the most rewarding. People might think it’s the championships and accolades, but it’s not. It’s the relationships that I’ve built.
NK: If you could try and sum up your 30 years of coaching and what exactly, besides what went into scheduling wise, What was your philosophy? How did you get across to kids and sort of break through the barrier with them?
KR: You know, consistency. I always said the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. I never expected them to be at something I wasn’t at. I was honest with them I was open with them. We were consistent. We worked hard, and I kept fighting the fights that needed to be fought, and they knew I was on their side, but I’d also hold their feet to the fire, and it was just day in and day out just pushing and doing those little things.
NK: What do you think goes into making a state champion?
KR: Again doing the little things. You know one of the things that I always did was lifting weights was mandatory for my teams, and when you think about cheerleading, I know so many people think that it’s not a sport, but no one would look at a gymnast and say that’s not athletic. No one would look at weightlifting and say that’s not athletic. No one would look at dancing and say that’s not athletic, but that’s what cheerleading is. It’s a combination of those three sports, so my teams were in the weight room. My teams had a lot of the records in the weight room. They lifted four days a week on top of practices on top of cheering for every sport.
NK: For about a week, we asked for nominations for Prep Coach of the Year, and it’s no secret how much the South community supports their coaches because over half of them were South coaches. We saw your resume, and we knew who you were and we thought you were 100% someone worthy of this award. We reached out to now-former Athletic Director Mark Puev, and he said, ‘If I knew about it, I would have nominated her. I would have written in.’ What have your years specifically at South meant to you?
KR: You know, I think of all my years, and I had great years at East and Central, but I think because at South I built a program from nothing. It’s really special to me and how much the school and the community [have] embraced me has been very rewarding. They never looked at us as an activity. They always treated us like a sport. They treated my kids like athletes. They treated me like a coach, so I would say that it’s been incredibly rewarding, and I always felt like they had my back.
NK: Coach, thank you very much for joining us. Kim Robert, Wyoming News Now Prep Coach of the Year.
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