LEWISBURG (WVDN) – Ronceverte resident Eric Canterbury is no stranger to the Greenbrier East Spartan football field.
He played for the Spartans and graduated in 2013 then went on to Marietta College in Ohio where he started for three years at center.
After graduating from college, Canterbury moved back home and immediately landed a spot on Ray Lee’s coaching staff in 2018 working with the offensive and defensive lines. His college sweetheart, Jennifer, came back with him and they are now married living happily ever after.
Canterbury uses his playing experience to help him thrive on the coaching side and it has helped him apply himself to the everyday grind of mentoring young men.
“It helps immensely”, Canterbury said when comparing his playing days to coaching.
“I’m a visual learner, so I like to give visual examples. Being only five years removed from playing, I’m still able to get down and show these guys what we are teaching,” he added.
However, the difference between the two can be quite eye opening yet satisfying at the same time.
“For me, I’d say the preparation is far different. As a player, you can only prepare to do your own job. As a coach, you have to prepare for every position on the field and get those guys ready to play. While coaching is more difficult, the satisfaction of seeing these young men grow throughout their careers is incredibly rewarding,” Canterbury explained.
Players typically like playing for younger coaches as sometimes they can relate to them better, and with the style Canterbury brings to the table, that appears to be the case here as well.
“My coaching style is very hands-on. I try to make the players see how it should be done, rather than telling them how it should be done. My offensive line coach in college (Alan Estep) was an incredible teacher and I credit all of my coaching style to him. If I could impact these kids half as much as he impacted me, I’m doing something right,” Canterbury said.
Even though Canterbury has been around for five years, he never gets tired of being around his players and learning every day from his fellow coaches.
“My favorite thing about coaching would have to be the players and coaches. I love coaching guys who genuinely want to learn and apply themselves, and even after being around this staff for five years, I’m still learning every day. Coach Lee has assembled a great group of football minds. I’m thankful to be a part of it,” Canterbury said.
While everyone’s goals are different, Canterbury knows what his ultimate long-term goal is.
“I would love to bring a state championship to Greenbrier East. I think that’s everyone’s long-term goal. But our main goal is to make these young men better each day on and off the field,” he said.
Coach Canterbury’s Favorites:
Movie or TV show: any comedy movie/Hard Knocks
Message to Spartan fans- Thank you to all the parents, fans and local businesses for all you do for this program. Continue to support and encourage these young men to go above and beyond. Trust the Process!