Peyton McLaughlin – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Many Mustangs think they know LRHS science teacher Mark Napier, but there is more than what meets the eye.
Among the achievements Napier has accomplished professionally is being named NJCAA Assistant Coach of the Year four years in a row, 12-time Big Ten assistant coach of the year, Florida High School Girls Coach of the Year, Florida coaches’ representative for National Coach of the year, two-time Florida State University (FSU) Team Captain, Florida State University (FSU) – Seminole Athlete of the year, Coach for Olympians, and coaching and mentoring 12 National Football League (NFL) players. His greatest achievement personally was marrying his wife of 24 years and raising his three sons.
After graduating from Lake Brantley High in Altamonte Springs, FL., Napier attended FSU and earned his Bachelor’s degree of science, and then attended Mississippi State to earn his Master’s degree of Science.
While at FSU, Napier was captain on the track team and participated in the Decathlon, Triple Jump, and Hammer throw, and at Mississippi State Napier was the track coach.
His favorite track sports were pole vault and hammer throw because they are very difficult to master.
Napier stated, “My high school coach was the one who inspired me to become a coach, I still speak with him all the time even though it’s been 33 years later.”
Before becoming a teacher, Napier was a college coach for 20 years. His goal was to coach his own sons in track. His two oldest sons are currently competing in college track, while the youngest hopes to follow his brother to FSU for pole vault next year.
Other than being a teacher, Napier has many different interests, “I enjoy working with my hands. Auto mechanics, building, landscaping, public and professional speaking, coaching and personal training.”
Napier’s main goal as a coach is to teach students that track is very rewarding, can help overcome obstacles in life, and to never give up and to always push yourself no matter what.
Napier stated, “You can’t hide in track or behind other players, therefore, you learn how to overcome your fears of failing.”