Whether it’s spring or fall, it is a common sight to see coach Justin Shive pacing the sidelines on Newsome High School’s field. The 2021 Flag Football Coach of the Year currently serves as the head coach of varsity flag football as well as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach of varsity tackle football. Shive has been coaching for over two decades at this point, and coaching has taken him all over Central Florida and Hillsborough County, as he has coached every position in football outside of kickers.
Shive started his coaching career in tackle football, which led him to the various positions at Hillsborough high schools like Riverview, Leto and Spoto prior to Newsome. He did not get involved with flag football until the head coach position opened at Newsome. While he did not have any inclination towards coaching flag, he saw the open position as a new avenue and a way to present skills in a different way.
Since accepting the flag head coach position, Shive was able to lead the team to the school’s first flag football state championship, and back-to-back appearances in the championship game.
“It was unreal. I knew the team was special; as the season progressed, the idea was getting more a reality. Winning one was one of the sweetest moments of my coaching career. Seeing the absolute joy [on] my players’ faces was the biggest reward any coach could have,” Shive said.
While he has achieved a lot on the field as a coach, he also has a profound off-the-field impact on his players as a leader, mentor and role model, which is something that he takes pride in. Shive has a unique ability to connect with his players that allows them to maximize their potential in athletics and otherwise.
“One of the biggest coaching accomplishments are being able to see the achievement of my players after they leave the program,” Shive said.
After 23 years coaching, Shive has impacted countless individuals, and continues to do so to this day. While he is not looking too far into the future, he acknowledges that he keeps coming back because coaching is a part of who he is. Hopefully, he will continue to for years to come, as his impact on the youth is immeasurable and something that should not be overlooked.