I woke up to some very sad news Tuesday morning, as I’m sure many other Polk County residents did.
Longtime Haines City volleyball coach Robin Wagman passed away Sunday after a long battle with cancer. The Ledger’s Lisa Coffey did an incredible job paying tribute to Robin in her story that ran in Tuesday’s paper, putting in perspective what she meant to her family, the Haines City community, and her players in the volleyball program.
I was fortunate to interact with Robin quite a bit over the past few years, and it was clear early on why she had been so successful in volleyball (four district titles). She was intense and passionate about her program, her players, and about winning. She pushed her players hard, and she vigorously fought for them to get the recognition that they deserved.
I didn’t talk to one player who didn’t have an enormous amount of respect for her, and her battle with cancer was an incredible inspiration to them and to all who knew Robin.
As Lisa’s story said, she didn’t miss practice even while she was undergoing treatment in Orlando. She would drive back and get to practice late if she had to, the same with matches. And I never saw her having a bad day, though I’m sure no day was easy for her the past few years.
Robin was also a very successful track coach in her career, so the county has a huge void that simply can’t be filled by anyone else in high school coaching. Every coach leaves their own unique mark, and she left a great one.
There are tons of great coaches in Polk County, but it will be impossible to replace Robin Wagman. I pray that she rests in peace, and that her family finds comfort in knowing she had such a positive impact on so many other lives.