Coach Swift surprised by some of his smallest fans - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Coach Swift surprised by some of his smallest fans

Coach Wes Swift found this display awaiting him at VPA  today. (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools) Coach Wes Swift found this display awaiting him at VPA today. (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools)
Players, family, friends and school personnel surprised Coach Swift with a special assembly proclaiming April 18, "Coach Swift Day at VPA!" (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools) Players, family, friends and school personnel surprised Coach Swift with a special assembly proclaiming April 18, "Coach Swift Day at VPA!" (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools)
Coach Swift expressed his appreciation for a surprise assembly that even included his family on stage. (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools) Coach Swift expressed his appreciation for a surprise assembly that even included his family on stage. (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools)
A morning school assembly turns out to be something much bigger at VPA Magnet School in Jonesboro. (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools) A morning school assembly turns out to be something much bigger at VPA Magnet School in Jonesboro. (Source: Jonesboro Public Schools)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

By morning, the Boys Basketball Coach of the Year, as proclaimed by MaxPreps 2016, is an Assistant Principal at Jonesboro’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School.

Coach Wes Swift heads to Jonesboro High School in the afternoon to coach basketball.

But the excitement of an undefeated season, the district’s 14th state championship and #5 in the United States, the highest ranking in school history has not been lost on the youngest students at the elementary where Swift starts his day.

They lined the street outside the school, holding signs and screamed, as the team loaded on a school bus made a pass by before heading to the State Championships last month.

So, Coach Swift shouldn’t have been surprised when he drove up to VPA and saw a huge display of letters spread across the school’s entrance saying, “Coach Swift Rocks!!”

But a bigger surprise came when students gathered for an impromptu assembly in the gym.

“I knew they were up to something, but when my five seniors walked in, followed by Coach (David) Daniel, that’s when it hit home that they were really trying to make this special,” Coach Swift said. “I have a great support system at VPA and love going to work there each morning!”

Students sat mesmerized as the members of the winningest Jonesboro High School team shared stories about Coach Swift. His wife joined him on-stage during the presentations.

“My mom was an elementary teacher for 43 years,” said Coach Swift. “I understand what the teachers at those early levels go through to prepare our kids for success once they get to junior and senior high. They are phenomenal!”

Swift has been Assistant Principal at VPA for five years.

“The entire staff is like a second family to me,” Coach Swift said. “They treatment way better than I deserve.”

Is it difficult for him to switch gears and go from working with very young students to those in high school?

“Not at all,” Coach Swift said. “It’s something I’ve been doing for 16 years. If anything, it helps keep me well-rounded. I’m to the point now where the kids I had in elementary school when I first go to Jonesboro eight years ago—are coming through JHS now. They get to see me wearing a different “hat” so to speak… and I get to see them as a more mature person or student. It’s fun watching them grow up!”

Eyes wide with intrigue, students as young as first grade listened to seniors talk about the coach that made such an impression on them. Some JHS players just days from graduating and heading on to college, stood before the sea of youngsters much smaller in stature.  Many of the VPA students wore t-shirts proclaiming the district’s championship win and history-making season. A fitting tribute to their local heroes.

And for Coach Swift, nearly all of his students were in one place at one time.

“It’s the way it’s supposed to be,” said Coach Swift. “They (VPA) are my biggest supporters! I love them so much and I hope I give back to them just half of what they’ve added to my life.” 

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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