A group of W&L educators joined school administrators as retired Washington & Lee High School coach Malcolm Lewis was honored by the VHSL on April 29. Nominated by W&L principal, Roger Coleman and AD Spencer Sadler, Coach Lewis was given the VHSL Regional Award of Merit by VHSL representative Region Director Mike Myers, Principal of Northampton High School, for his many years of service to athletics at Washington & Lee High School. According to the VHSL, the award is given to “individuals who have had a positive impact on high school athletic and activity programs, not only at the school, conference, regional or state level.” His nomination noted, “Coach Lewis has tirelessly dedicated himself to positively impacting our school and student-athletes for almost two decades as the Athletic Director and even longer as a coach.”
In his congratulatory introduction, W&L principal, Roger Coleman, gave a brief review of Lewis’ career at Washington & Lee. “Coach Lewis grew up in Montross, Virginia and played high school football. He graduated with the class of 1982. That’s why it was important for him to return to W&L as an adult, not so much to be a coach and administrator, but simply to ‘return home.’”
Malcolm began his career as an art teacher and coach at the then A.T. Johnson Junior High School in 1994 after a similar 8-year stint at Middlesex. In 1998-99, he became the art teacher at Montross Middle School. In 2001, Malcolm worked as the Administrative Services Coordinator at the Central Office. In 2002, he moved to Washington & Lee High School as an Administrative Assistant/teacher. In 2004, he became the Athletic Director. Some of the highlights of his career were winning the 2001 Group A, Division 2 state championship, six district titles and eight state playoff appearances.
Principal Coleman noted the impact that Lewis has made on so many former players: “Coach Lewis is charismatic and creative and he thinks differently, outside the box. He has shown his Eagle pride in the classroom and on the field and has developed a rapport with students, colleagues and parents that is characterized by mutual respect. He has many notes and emails that compliment his legacy and the impact he has had on his community.” Among those he mentored are Andrew Lacey, men’s basketball head coach at Richard Bland College; Cole Vanover, Assistant Principal at Essex High School; Todd Jones, Essex AD and Matthew Pearman, AD at Monticello High School.
Joe Taylor, the quarterback of the 2001 Eagle team, poignantly reminisced of their time together: “I learned a lot about grass and life. I’ll never forget those long car rides and the talks we had.” He recalled Lewis dropping him off at multi-day football camps and always being available to him. Taylor went on to play at the U.S. Naval Academy and came back to W&L to teach and be an assistant coach. He is currently an engineer in Arizona.
Malcolm thanked all those who helped him in his career, not the least his mother and his wife, Tricia.
WMLCPS congratulates Malcolm Lewis on this prestigious award and wishes him much success in his retirement.