Coach Robert: the man, the myth, the legend


Coach Mark Robert pretends to scold reporter Colton Leggett.

Colton Leggett, Staff Reporter

His name is Mark Robert. That is pronounced Row-Bear if you are not familiar with him. He has been the longtime Dean of Students at Northlake Christian School as well as a football coach. From a student’s perspective, you may view him as the hard-nosed disciplinarian that you want to avoid at all costs. If you are a parent, you may have heard many stories about him over the years, hence the title, the “myth” and the “legend.” If you do not know him very well, however, there is much more than meets the eye.

Robert, shy and bashful as a young boy, was born and raised in the Irish Channel of New Orleans.

Before becoming a disciplinarian and doing work as part of a school administration, Robert was in fact a teacher.

“My first year of teaching I taught all of the social studies: civics, geography, U.S. history, world history, I taught them all,” he elaborated.

Coach Robert began his time as having a role like that of a disciplinarian after his first year of teaching.

“Even though it wasn’t like a full-time gig, it was more like an unannounced gig, I basically was in charge of handling all the kids as far as discipline, even though I was still teaching all the classes,” said Robert.

Robert spent some time in North Carolina handling in-school suspensions before coming back to be the disciplinarian of Holy Cross.

Although Robert has taken on many roles in his life, one thing that has remained consistent is his deep faith in Christ, which started when Robert was in eighth grade.

“My mom got saved in 1968, and she started living out her faith in front of my dad and myself. While I was away at a camping trip, my dad went to church with her, and he got saved. When I came home and saw the transformation in his life, I knew it was real. It was just within a matter of weeks that I made my commitment to Christ,” said Robert.

It was because of this faith that Robert felt the calling to work with high school students.

“I still remember the time and the place. It was right after a football game at St. Charles Catholic High School, and I felt the Lord speak to my heart and told me to go into this line of work,” said Robert.

In this same way, Robert found his place at Northlake. While working at Mandeville High School, Robert received a call to work as a head football coach at a small college in Texas. His son, who was in eighth grade at Northlake at the time, cried at the news, not wanting to leave.

“I kept saying I was going to take the job, but the very next morning, as God would do things, Coach Fontenot found my name, who at the time we didn’t really know each other, casually at best, called me and asked me if I would be interested in starting the football program here at Northlake. The spring of 2002 is when I started the program,” Robert said.

Although Robert loves serving as a coach on campus, it is the chance to impact those he is coaching which he finds most reward in.

“It’s the title of Coach giving me the opportunity to speak into the lives of young men and young ladies. Most coaches are able to do that because they are considered the coach and they are looked up to,” he explained.

It is the impact he has made on students that Robert cites as his deepest accomplishment.

“The greatest accomplishment would be the list of young men that I was able to influence and lead to Christ,” he said.

Throughout his career and time spent at many schools, which apart from Northlake include Fontainebleau High, St. Martins, East Jefferson, and more, Robert has recognized the importance of loyalty.

Robert shared a couple of the most important things he has learned along the way in his career.

“I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is loyalty. I’ve learned how to disagree, but remain loyal. I’ve learned that there’s all kinds of folks that make the world go ‘round, but loyalty, when you’re working on a coaching staff or working at a school, it’s just one of those core values,” said Robert.

Coach Robert has had a unique and special journey throughout his career. He is a man driven consistently by faith that leads and motivates him. He sincerely cares about the students he is responsible for and the players that he coaches. He is a man of wisdom and high integrity.