When he first stepped on the campus of Riverside Military Academy, Chris Cotter knew he was home. And now his home has made his “dream” come true.
Cotter, who has served as interim athletic director at Riverside Military Academy since February, is officially taking over as the new athletic director and head football coach, the school announced Tuesday.
“This is what I’ve done for 20-plus years, and I’m thrilled they’ve given me this opportunity,” Cotter said. “This has been a dream of mine for some time.”
Cotter, who has been at Riverside since 2008, has previously served as the Eagles defensive coordinator and head track coach while also teaching in the physical education department. Cotter is replacing Scott Sloan, who left in February to become an assistant coach at Appalachian State University.
“I was thrown into the fire during our busiest season,” Cotter said. “I’ve learned to juggle all the responsibilities.”
His main responsibility is the entire athletics program, but his real love is standing on the sidelines on Friday nights.
“I know I can do both, and it’ll take a great amount of hours and understanding from my personal family,” he said.
Coaching football at Riverside comes with its downfalls, and Cotter knows that heading up a program that changes its roster year-to-year is going to be the biggest hurdle.
“We’re going to try and retain everybody we coached the past two years,” he said. “I have a really good staff of coaches and we’ve been together for two years. We know each other and we want to succeed and we know how to do it.”
Cotter received a degree in sports administration from Saint Thomas University in Miami, Fla., and served as a graduate assistant football coach at the University of Virginia for two years.
“Coach Cotter understands the challenges inherent in coaching at a private military school where practice time must be shared with the Commandant of Cadets, faculty and Senior Army Instructor,” said Dr. James H. Benson, president of Riverside. “ We are delighted to have Coach Cotter to lead our athletic program and football team, hopefully, for many years to come.”
Cotter is the third head football coach in three years at Riverside, and he doesn’t plan on going anywhere any time soon.
“I plan on staying here as long as the Riverside Military Academy leadership wants me here,” he said.