Joe Floyd
Community Builder

No man is an island — unless the island is Kodiak and the man is Joe Floyd.

Known to many simply as Coach, Floyd is the architect and patriarch of youth and high school sports in Kodiak. He arrived in 1955 for a teaching job, fresh out of the University of Mississippi, and stayed until his death in 2020 at age 89.

In Floyd’s first year at the high school, Kodiak had one sport — basketball — and scant facilities: an outdoor basketball court and a Quonset hut “where we met for rainy-day games,” Floyd said in a 1995 interview.

Within a few years, he had launched a popular intramural program for all grades and added varsity wrestling, track and cross country for the high school. If students showed interest in a sport, he did what he could to get things going. Kodiak offers dozens of sports today, and Floyd’s DNA is in nearly all of them.

“I had the keys to the gym,” he said by way of explanation in a 2017 interview.

Floyd, who retired in 1981, believed in participation at all levels. He started Kodiak’s Kids Wrestling program and its adult-league basketball program. When Title IX ushered in sports for high school girls, he embraced the new programs.

He was half of one of the biggest power couples on the island known affectionately as The Rock. His wife, Carolyn, was mayor for 18 years and a longtime educator who was there at the dawn of Kodiak College. Together they raised four children while contributing greatly to the lives of many others.

Today, kids in Kodiak aspire to play basketball in the annual Joe Floyd Christmas Tournament and learn to high jump and run hurdles at the Joe Floyd Track and Field Stadium. The lucky ones can say they knew Floyd, the rock of sports on the Rock.

– Beth Bragg