Small town high school graduates have dreams of building their futures in bigger places, but soon-to-be Cleveland graduate Bubba Cotie hopes to someday give back to his alma mater.
Cleveland athletic director Norris Taff told Texas Scorecard that the 5-foot-10, 275-pound Cotie, who was a football player and a powerlifter for the Indians, recently expressed to him his desire of returning to coach at Cleveland High. Coty is set to graduate next month.
“He is a great kid and loves Cleveland High School,” said Taff. “He was telling me that he wants to go to school and be a coach so he can come back, coach at Cleveland, and give back because of everything that Cleveland High School has done for him.”
Cotie, whom Taff called a “great ambassador” for the school, will depart Cleveland High with a second-place finish in the super heavyweight division at the 2019 state powerlifting championships with an 1805 weight total. He was also awarded best bencher in Texas on the heavy platform for Division I, according to the Cleveland High girls athletics’ Twitter account.
Taff described Cotie as a “little bull in a china shop.”
“He’s country strong,” said Taff. “He loves to lift weights … not real tall, but, man, he’s thick and strong as an ox. He loves the weight room and has a lot of intrinsic motivation from within.”
Cleveland hired Taff earlier this year to lead the football program, which was fresh from a winless 2018 campaign. While Taff never had Cotie play under him as the varsity head coach, the 1977 Cleveland graduate nevertheless marveled at Cotie’s performance on the gridiron.
As a two-year defensive tackle, Cotie, Taff said, possessed “a great motor” and never took a play off, similar to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt. Cotie and Taff met after Taff’s hiring as athletic director and head football coach.
Taff hinted that he would love for Cotie to work for him.
“I told him to go out, get your degree, get certified, and I’ll hire you in a heartbeat,” said Taff.