After seven years on the job, Neosho Athletic Director Corey Roy has resigned.

Roy, who cited some health issues and a desire to spend more time with his family, has decided to lessen some of his workload and accepted a position at Webb City High School where he’ll teach Physical Education and assist legendary coach John Roderique with the football team and possibly assist in track and field. He said leaving Neosho, a place he and his family have called home for nearly a decade, is going to be tough.

“I’m definitely excited to start this new adventure,” Roy said. “But with the coaches and people I’ve come to know and trust, leaving them is going to be tough. The hardest part is with the coaches.  

“It was definitely a tough decision. I told the people I work with that when you’re somewhere for so many years and put your heart and soul in it, you’re going to leave part of your heart there. People in Neosho are always going to have a part of my heart.

“It got to where physically, it was wearing me out. I had some health issues and I had family things I was missing out on and needed to deal with.”

NHS is expected to begin its search for a new Athletic Director immediately.

The new job will allow the Aurora, Mo., native to coach his son Kaden in football and give him time to watch and possibly coach his daughter Cami sometime down the road, as well.

“It’s one of those dreams that I always had, getting to coach my kids,” Roy said. “If I can get out of the administration side of things and just get to coach and be around my kids and get to be a part of it, that will be worth it. My dad always told me: ‘Do what you love and you’ll find a way to make a living.’ It’s going to be something where I can do what I enjoy and be able to sit back and watch my kids and not have to mess with the administrative side of things. I can kind of get my priorities back in order.

“Health-wise and family-wise it affected us, and I felt at this point like I wanted to do something else and enjoy my kids while they’re still at home.”

Roy’s time at NHS was littered with improvements inside the athletic department. Perhaps one of the biggest things to happen on his watch was the school’s shift to the Central Ozark Conference.

“I know some people disagreed with that and still do, but it’s the premier conference in southern Missouri — not only athletics but academics too,” he said. “It’s a great conference to be a part of, the top-notch level of competition.”

Also during the past seven years the school has undergone a number of facility upgrades for its sports programs, including Roy B. Shaver Stadium and the construction of the new high school softball complex behind George Washington Carver Elementary. Bleachers were added to create the visitor’s side of Bob Anderson Stadium with new lights also being added. New scoreboards were installed in the high school and junior high gymnasiums, as well as a number of other physical and cosmetic upgrades.

“We added a drug program for our extra-curricular programs that I think is a positive,” Roy said. “We’ve done things to attract and keep coaches here as far as salaries and benefits. We’ve brought in some high-quality coaches here, and I think that’s what I’m the most proud of.”

Roy, however, wasn’t about to take all of the credit.

“That takes a lot of people getting on board,” he said. “But I think with the vision, goals and the purpose of everyone involved, those things can be seen.”

From the outside looking in, it’s easy to view Roy’s move as a step down the career ladder. However, he looks at it as a step in the right direction.

“People may look at it as a step back, but my goal when I started was to be an AD some day,” Roy said. “It happened a lot sooner than I thought and I spent seven years doing it, but I realized lately that the salary and all — that’s not always what it’s all about. That’s not what really matters. It’s about whether or not you’re happy and your family is happy. That’s worth everything.”

As he prepares to move on to his next venture in life, Roy says he will forever be grateful for those who have supported him and his family over the past seven years.

“I just want to thank the people here that supported and bought into what we’re trying to do,” he said. “Hopefully we’re leaving it a better place. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the people here and what they’re trying to do, and I appreciate the support for helping me grow as a person and professional.”