By Christian Weaner
Troy Holt, Physical Education
Sandpoint Middle School
The turning point of Troy Holt’s career came several years ago when he was an assistant under legendary Bulldogs Head Football Coach Satini Puailoa. Troy always wondered why Coach Puailoa’s athletes admired him so greatly, always giving their best effort on the field. Then it hit him. “It came down to one thing,” Troy remembered. “He cared.”
Witnessing the way that Puailoa genuinely invested in his players and connected with them on a personal level, Troy aimed to emulate that coaching and teaching style in everything he has done since.
Troy graduated from Sandpoint High School in the early 1990s and went on to earn an education degree at University of Idaho.
Teaching mostly physical education (PE) and health classes, Troy began his career in January 1997 at the elementary school level before moving to junior high after three years. At one point he taught computer and graphic arts, and then moved to a full-time PE position, which he has held to this day.
Troy eventually became interested in speed and agility training, implementing these aspects into his classes.
“I kind of became a ‘movement specialist,’” Troy explained. “Even today, I teach regular PE, but I don’t do any volleyball or sports or games. All I teach is movement-based class.”
Troy has found his niche in movement training, and he is encouraged daily by the growth he sees in his students as they improve both physically and mentally.
One of Troy’s maxims is that “the day doesn’t end at 3:15,” and he has spent 66 total seasons—27 football, 26 basketball, seven track and field and six baseball—coaching at every level of Sandpoint athletics.
“It’s amazing how much better you get as a teacher by spending more time teaching outside of school,” Troy examined. “The better I get at coaching and building relationships with these kids, the better these kids will become.”
Troy wholeheartedly believes that his students today are not that different than they were when he began teaching. Students want teachers and coaches who will be there for them, care about them, and acknowledge them when they succeed, and that is exactly what Troy aims to embody each day.
When Troy is not teaching, coaching or cheering on his students at their extracurricular events, he enjoys taking his bass boat out on the lake to fish and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Troy knows his career is nearing its final stages, but he is appreciating each moment and doing everything he can to give back to his students and his hometown.
“It’s nice being in my own community,” Troy added. “I’m grounded here, and I will probably be here the rest of my life.”