2022 LCS Hall of Honor Inductee, Coach Mike Sligh
Dr. Mike Sligh was inducted into the A. H. Hank Varnum Viking Hall of Honor during a halftime induction ceremony in Viking Stadium on Friday, September 16.
The Hank Varnum Viking Hall of Honor is located in the lobby of the Evans Center and was made possible through the generosity of the Varnum Family. This special addition to our campus is named in honor of the late Hank Varnum, a long-time Lakeland Christian grandparent and faithful supporter. The Varnum Hall of Honor will recognize individuals whose lives reflect a deep commitment to the Lord, and who provide unparalleled impact upon the athletic program at Lakeland Christian.
For over 68 years, LCS has been educating students in the Light of God’s Word, both in the classroom and through athletic competition. For 51 of those years, Dr. Sligh has had as meaningful a role in the lives of young people as any individual ever associated with Lakeland Christian School. Some of you may only know him as Dr. Sligh, but for many, he will always be “Coach.”
The night was full of appreciation as former athletes spent hours catching up and reflecting back to their time at LCS. At Lakeland Christian School the name “Mike Sligh” is known by all, as he has touched the lives of so many and is truly loved in the LCS school community. Because of Dr. Sligh’s amazing leadership, Lakeland Christian School is what it is today. The athletic program truly reflects his love of sports and understanding of athletics to a school community.
Fellow Hall of Honor Member, Coach Mark Kirby, and LCS Athletic Director Todd Radford presented Coach Sligh with his Hall of Honor plaque. Coach Sligh became the first athletic director at LCS in 1975 and held that position until 1988, when Coach Kirby assumed the role. It was also in 1988 that current AD, Todd Radford, was a senior basketball player under his role model and mentor, Coach Mike Sligh. How special it was to have our three athletic directors in the school’s 68-year history together to celebrate.
Coach Radford says, “There is not one man that I know of who has been more of a Godly example of unselfish servant leadership than Coach Sligh. He was an amazing Coach, tremendous leader, unbelievable mentor, and unwavering friend that is truly loved by all that know him.”
Coach Sligh’s plaque reads:
During his 51 years at Lakeland Christian School, Dr. Mike Sligh has worn many hats: Head of School, Principal, Teacher, and Athletic Director, but he especially cherishes the title “Coach.” Mike coached baseball and tennis but is most known for the 25 years he coached basketball. He began his coaching career during the 1972-73 school year and assumed the role of head boys’ basketball coach for the 1975-76 season. During his 13 seasons, he compiled a record of 192-123 with five Bay Conference Championships and one District Championship. Mike’s integrity and calm demeanor made him highly respected throughout Central Florida. Mike hated to lose but handled victory with humility and defeat with grace. He consistently demonstrated respect for the opposing coaches, players, and officials.
Without his leadership, the LCS athletic program would not be what it is today. Mike became the school’s first athletic director in 1975 and moved LCS from a small Christian conference to the FHSAA, establishing the foundation for our current athletic program. Mike used his keen discernment of people to mentor coaches who assisted him in the development of the overall program. Mike built relationships with players, coaches, and other schools that remain strong today. He still loves to be greeted with, “Hey, Coach.”
Thank you, Coach Sligh, for your leadership and faithfulness to LCS. Coach Kirby and Coach Radford presented Dr. Sligh with a replica plaque of the one that will forever be displayed in the Varnum Viking Hall of Honor.
The scripture on his plaque reads:
“I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:8 ESV