Max Floyd

Courtesy of MIKE ROSTAD

Max Floyd, right, talks to Michael Huner at Monk’s Rock. 

Max Floyd, eldest son of the late Joe Floyd —beloved coach and teacher — and Carolyn Floyd, former college president and city mayor, is honoring his parents by creating a leadership program based on principles he learned from them while living in the Floyd home.

Max, was in town recently to attend his high school class reunion and spend time with his mother.

He currently is director of leadership institute, classroom instruction, leadership training and team-building workshops at Calvary Day School in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where he lives with his family. Prior to that he was director of recreation of campus recreation at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem. He served as assistant director of recreation at Ohio State University, where he received his Masters degree.

Coming from a family of athletes (his dad was athletic director for the Kodiak Island Borough School District), Floyd played collegiate baseball at Arizona State University and the University of Texas at El Paso, and professional baseball, as catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies farm team. Floyd was selected to work with the Ole Miss Men’s Baseball Regional in Oxford, Miss. He also worked with ESPN on commercial breakaways and mid-game coach interviews.

Websites about Max are filled with accolades, referring to him as a “creative and enthusiastic administrator, speaker and teacher focused on maximizing human potential in life, in business, in the classroom, in the church and on the playing field.

“Max Floyd has a passion for improving the lives of those he touches. Even though an individual with varied and multiple interests, Max loves to teach, coach and motivate individuals to live life to the fullest. He puts his love to work on a daily basis serving as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for over 15 years, (Floyd)  provides real life stories to illustrate and support his message,” the website says.

If you were to congratulate Floyd on his achievements, he would immediately give credit to his parents.

To the community, the Floyds were revered and beloved leaders who excelled in their professions. To Max and his siblings, they were “mom and dad.”

“When you step outside your upbringing, you realize what a treasure you had,” Max told me.

Appearing at the Rotary meeting, Max broke down some valuable life lessons from his parents by using the FLOYD acronym. His parents often found things for people to do, and often with a dual purpose. For instance, when Joe needed boundary lines painted on the basketball court, he asked one of his students to do the job. But he also included the boy’s dad in the activity. That project brought the father and son into a closer relationship. 

Carolyn was a short-hand teacher at Kodiak High School before she decided to teach on a higher level. She was instrumental in the founding of the Kodiak College. A library is named after her. 

Max said that his parents were focused on what this community needed, and what could be done to help it. They “loved this town.They looked for the future,” Max said. They saw the opportunities available. They did so with love.” They were “enraptured with the people.”

At a time when there was no gymnasium in town, and because of that, students had to go to the Coast Guard base to play sports, Joe got the wheels going to include a gym in the town middle and high schools. Joe expanded the Little League baseball program to include more kids in town, said Floyd. 

Although the Floyds were professional people who knew their trades well, they knew when to yield to the experts in their fields. Often Joe brought in professional athletes to conduct sports clinics in Kodiak. 

The Floyds were dedicated to this community and determined to do their best to make it better (Did you catch the acronym?)

Max said his dad could be tough. He taught him to endure and taste defeat.

When Max got in trouble in school, he had the option of either getting a spanking or having his dad come to the principal’s office. Max chose the spanking.

Max said his father allowed him to taste defeat, but he also got a lot of hugs from him. 

Besides attending his class reunion, Max had other engagements in Kodiak. He participated in the in the 5-kilometer alumni cross country run and was blessed with songs from the St. John the Wonder Worker students at Monk’s Rock. Max gave the sermon at Kodiak Community Baptist Church, where his family attended for many years.

In his message, Max visited various sites on Kodiak Island and made spiritual applications. He mentioned the wind mills on Pillar Mountain (incidentally, his father, while serving on the board of directors for the Kodiak Electric Association, was a hearty advocate for the windmills.) Max noted that one of the wind mills stood idle, while the others were twirling with the wind. He compared the active windmills to those who stored up the Word of God in their hearts and the idle windmill to those who are negligent of their spiritual needs. Max then took his listeners to Pillar Creek where the eagles soar. He alluded to the Old Testament book of Isaiah, which says that t those who hope in the Lord “will renew their strength…soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not grow weary,

    they will walk and not be faint.”

Max used the high school reunion at the Elks to make a point about the requirements to enter Heaven. Only those who were students at Kodiak High School and their family and friends could be admitted into the reunion party. Likewise, only those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, can be admitted into Heaven, he said.

At the conclusion of his message, Floyd quoted a song that referred to Jesus Christ as a “treasure” that must be shared.

Whether Max is preaching the Gospel, teaching leadership classes or expounding on the nuggets of wisdom handed down to him by his parents, he has devoted his life to sharing life’s greatest treasures.

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