"Our athletes are taught how to deal with adversity and triumph whether it’s on the field or in their own lives."
You may know Ian McKeown as our lower school physical education teacher. Did you know he also coaches cross country and girls soccer for our upper school athletes? Recently, he had the opportunity to cheer one of his senior cross country athletes, Spenser Bailey, to victory as the 2020 NCISAA State Champion at the 2A meet. Read more about that experience along with his thoughts about the privilege of being a WCCS coach in his story below!
What sport(s) do you coach?
Currently, I coach Cross Country and Girls Soccer.
Tell Us a Little About Your Own Athletic Experience (high school, college, etc).
I played just about any sport I could get my hands on in high school, but soccer was my primary sport. I also played D1 soccer at USC for a year and then club soccer my other 3 years after a knee injury.
Share with us about your family, any hobbies you enjoy, and what brought you to WCCS.
I was brought to WCCS when my now wife (Anne McKeown) was teaching at WCCS. Growing up in Rock Hill, I had also heard about the school and had several friends who went here. After coming to several events with Anne, I could feel how much of a loving environment this school was, and knew I wanted to teach here (in addition to coaching, I also teach Physical Education at the lower school). We have a child on the way due in April. My hobbies include working out with F3, playing soccer on the weekends, and the occasional video game with my younger brother.
What do you love most about coaching at WCCS?
I love the camaraderie on the teams. As much as everyone wants to win, the athletes really just enjoy hanging out with one another and the coaches.
How do you encourage our WCCS student athletes to bring their Christian faith onto the athletic field?
I tell my athletes that we are always being watched whether we know it or not. So no matter if we are winning or losing, being knocked down or knocking someone else down, we must always act with a character that is pleasing to God.
How do you believe WCCS athletics helps prepare student athletes for life?
All of our coaches care about each athlete as a whole person rather than just a student who plays for their team. Most of our coaches are like an open book. The fact that they are willing to share their own experiences really shows how much they care for the students. Our athletes are taught how to deal with adversity and triumph whether it’s on the field, or in their own lives by our coaches and their own stories.
Share a moment from your coaching here at WCCS that stands out as something you never want to forget.
Spenser Bailey winning the state championship this year for Cross Country will probably be a moment that I’m not going to forget anytime soon. We had talked before the race about him feeling confident and how he wanted this one no matter what. Seeing him come around at the first mile, right in the first pack of leaders was what told me he was in it. While we cheered him on, he just looked over and smiled. I knew right then that this race was his, and he was going to win. That made all the work that this season had been worth it.