Sandy Martin, Eddie Rivers named Toby Webb Award winners for North Carolina High School Athletic Association
CHAPEL HILL – Sandy Martin of Providence High School in Charlotte and Eddie Rivers of Forest Hills High School in Marshville are the recipients of the eighth annual Toby Webb Coach of the Year Awards given by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
The two outstanding coaches will be recognized at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on May 2 at the Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
The Webb Award is made possible through the generosity of gifts from individuals and companies through the NCHSAA Endowment and annually recognizes an outstanding male and female coach. To be eligible for the award, a coach must be nominated by school personnel at the NCHSAA member school where he or she coaches, to have coached for a minimum of 10 years, and have made major contributions to the success of high school athletics at the school, in the community and beyond.
Sandy has been in education for almost 30 years, 18 at the high school level, with three years at West Charlotte and 15 at Providence. She has been a head coach in both cheerleading and tennis but is best known for her involvement in swimming.
Her teams have won 15 state swimming championships, men and women combined, and many regional titles, but she has always worked to better the sport across the Charlotte area as well as the state. A number of high school teams share the pool at Providence, and she has also mentored young head coaches and has organized swim technique clinics to help teach swimmers at other schools. She has served as the meet director of the NCHSAA Western Regional event for several years.
Sandy has also been active with the American Red Cross for almost 15 years, training hundreds of students to become lifeguards.
Eddie “Pop” Rivers has been at Forest Hills for 29 years, coaching junior varsity volleyball for four seasons, women’s varsity basketball for three, serving as the offensive coordinator for varsity football for 18 years, but varsity softball every year. He was instrumental in the establishment of the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association, to advocate for the sport, and served as president of the organization from 2004 to 2010.
Inducted into the North Carolina Softball Hall of Fame in 2010, Eddie has also helped to establish a website and conduct a coaches’ poll to rank softball teams, and to get softball included in the State Games under the auspices of North Carolina Amateur Sports. He has also worked with area recreation departments to coach younger athletes in softball and basketball.
He is also active in his church, teaching Sunday school for 30 years and also singing in the choir as well as being involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Forest Hills.
“Sandy and Eddie are dedicated professionals who epitomize in many ways the role of coaches and the far-reaching impact they have,” said NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield. “They are most deserving of this recognition and receiving the prestigious Toby Webb Award is a credit to their service and dedication to young people.”
The awards are given in honor of Toby Webb, a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame who was an outstanding coach as well as a principal and superintendent. He helped turn Albemarle into a football power and posted a brilliant 103-18-6 mark as a head coach there.