Copeland returns to Barton

Published 9:43 am Monday, March 4, 2019

WILSON—On Feb. 9, Coach Jackie Copeland (Class of 1991) was a guest speaker at the 9th annual Celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day at Barton College.

Jackie Copeland (right) was joined at the 9th annual celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day at Barton College by Tony Hoggard and Que Tucker. Photo courtesy of The Wilson Times

She, along with fellow Barton College alumni, spoke on their passions that led them from being student athletes, to the successful roles they are in today. In addition to the current college student athletes and alumni, those in attendance were fortunate to have also as a speaker, Que Tucker, the Commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

“I was very excited to get the call from former AD Gary Hall (to speak on the occasion),” said Copeland. “I was excited and so honored to go back to a place that I called my second home to speak to (area) athletes.”

Copeland shared her experiences of how she excelled in her career, going from stellar player to role model and coach.

“My main message is to get your education first,” said Copeland. “Then always remember that it’s all about T.E.A.M.—not just you.”

For Copeland, TEAM means Togetherness, Effort, (a positive) Attitude, and Motivation.

At the event, Copeland shared that her motivation comes from her Lord and Savior, and also from her mother, father and sister. Her family attended almost every game throughout her high school and college careers. She said that seeing them in the stands inspired her to do her best and play her hardest—first for her team, and then for her coach, Hall of Famer Wendy Saintsing.

She said that 6 a.m. practices before an 8 a.m. class were rough, but it was those practices that taught self-discipline, and she is grateful for that.

Basketball was Copeland’s sport. During her college senior year, the Bulldogs won the conference championship, and she was named one of six MVP’s.

She has been playing and coaching basketball, softball and tennis all of her life. She has been a high school coach for 27 years at Bertie High School. Copeland currently teaches Health and PE at Bertie High School and is the Head Coach of tennis and softball there.

The event and all participants were recently featured in the Wilson Times newspaper.