Lewis: The Slicer who stayed
From throwing for track and field as a high school athlete to becoming the head coach of the same sport, Coach Stephanie Lewis is the embodiment of “Once a Slicer, Always a Slicer.”
Starting this year, Lewis is now officially a part of the Slicer teaching staff after spending the last couple of years as an assistant in the weight room. She has six P.E. classes she teaches during the school day.
“Gym class with Mrs. Lewis is always very fun for me because she is always nice and makes getting a physical education enjoyable for everyone,” sophomore Dominic Bartels said.
Her role as a physical education teacher led to her position as the head girls’ coach for track and field. A few years ago, LPHS was in need of an additional high school track and field assistant coach. After the first couple times Lewis was asked, she finally accepted coach Bob James’ offer to be an assistant throwing coach because of her experience at both the high school and college level. Moving into the head coach position was a natural fit for Lewis, and it also puts her past experiences as a standout athlete on the IU Track and Field team to good use.
On top of being both an assistant and now head coach of the track and field team for the past two years, Lewis has been coaching a variety of teams in the weight room before and after school, ranging from gymnastics to football. It’s an extremely busy schedule, but Lewis loves it.
“My favorite part is watching the kids progress and then seeing them see it for themselves, like when they win and you can see how they light up and when they begin to notice how well that they’ve done. Being a part of their victories is very important to me,” Lewis said.
Since she was an athlete as a kid, Lewis tries to incorporate what she has learned into how she coaches and always takes an opportunity to improve. She likes to go by the mantra, “Just because you’re a good athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re a good coach,” Because of this, Lewis recently took a USA Track and Field Level 1 coaching class to improve her ability with coaching and long-distance to better her own athletes.
“I’m always trying to make myself better and be like, ‘Okay, I can only throw, so I can coach just as good.’ No, that’s not gonna be the case. I’m constantly trying to improve in all aspects as a coach. Being an athlete now is a lot different than when I was in high school, so I always try to take that into account as well,” Lewis said.
Lewis always tries to make her athletes and students feel safe and trusted and normally takes on a motherly role on top of being a coach. She loves creating a deeper connection with her students.
“I feel like creating a bond with them, and sometimes being that motherly part of it helps. I get to know the kids a little bit better, and there’s trust there, too. If somebody gives me the nickname ‘Mama Lewis’ then I know they trust me,” Lewis said.
Lewis has been a Slicer her whole life. She went to school at LPHS and has always been passionate about her Slicer pride and is grateful that her children are able to be Slicers as well.
“There’s just something about being a Slicer. The colors are dominating, and I love that nobody else is a Slicer. They can taunt us however they want. It doesn’t really matter because we’re Slicers and nobody else is,” Lewis said.
When she is not coaching or teaching class, Lewis enjoys crocheting and spending time with her family at home, whether it is reading or trying to get caught up with her daily activities.
Whether at home, in the gym, or on the track, Lewis is a strong role model for all. “Once a Slicer, Always a Slicer” isn’t just a motto, it’s who Coach Lewis is.