Even in retirement, Rich Roy will still be a busy man.
That’s because after he leaves his post as athletic director at Fayetteville-Manlius High School on July 1, a spot he’s held securely for 22 years, Roy will turn his attention to philanthropy by working on beginning a clearinghouse of sorts.
And he’s leaving behind a legacy at F-M that has helped transform the Class AA school into not only a state athletic powerhouse, but also propelled it into the national spotlight.
“I am a great believer in what athletics do for kids,” Roy, 57, said in a phone interview. “Discipline, motivation, goal setting — sports helps with all of that. The outcomes are usually the same, but the vehicles are just different. I felt that when a seventh-grader, it’s his or her first time trying out for a varsity team, I don’t want their first experience to be getting cut. I made it my goal to extend the opportunities the school can offer so everyone can play.”
His words are backed up in more ways than you can count. Just last year, F-M was ranked No. 4 on a list of the top high schools in the country. The list is compiled not just by success, which F-M has grown accustomed to, but also by education. In 2010, F-M was No. 6, showing the program has truly turned into a powerhouse.
“I am very proud of what has transpired over my 22 years here,” Roy said when pressed to say what his crowning achievement is. He made it clear that what has happened under his watch was a complete team effort that teachers, coaches, students and parents got behind and wouldn’t take credit for the jump in prowess.
On Feb. 17, ESPN Rise is holding an assembly for students as a way to recognize the undoubtedly massive achievement.