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Cabacar rallies his way into retirement

THURS. | 11-18-21 | FEATURES

     Beloved Rose CTE teacher and former head volleyball coach, Norman Cabacar, retires after 10 years.

     Cabacar got his college education at a variety of schools. 

     “I started at ECU, then I went to Pitt Community College, finished in Mount Olive and later got my masters at ECU,” said Cabacar.

     Shortly after college, Cabacar got a job at East Carolina University.

     “I started working at ECU for many years and then I was able to come to Rose in 2004 as an assistant volleyball coach,” Cabacar said. “In 2008, when the current head volleyball coach got married I was asked to come be the head coach at Rose.” 

Cabacar 2018.jpg

Contributed photo

     Cabacar watched the team grow to be one of the top teams in the county.

     “Back in 2004, when I was still the assistant, will always stand out because it was the first year that Rose ever made it to the state championship match,” Cabacar said. “Although we did lose, that was the beginning of a rich tradition of Rose volleyball.”

     Over the 15 years he spent with Rose volleyball, Cabacar has formed many fond memories with the team.

     “In 2015, that would probably be the most memorable of all the matches, because Cardinal Gibbons came into Rose, and the Rose gym was full from bottom to top, side to side,” Cabacar said. “I had never seen that gym so packed before, and that was a big, exciting match that will always be at the top of my list.”

     In his earlier years coaching, Cabacar was only working part-time for Rose coaching volleyball. He started to consider becoming a teacher. 

     “Basically, I had a lot of parents reach out of players that I coached, and they thought that I might want to consider teaching, since coaching and teaching are about the same,” Cabacar said. “If I was going to continue coaching at Rose, it would be better to work as a full-time staff member, so I went back to get my masters.”

     After getting his masters at ECU, Cabacar was hired as a teacher at Rose in 2011.

     “Coming from working at ECU and then stepping into the teaching profession was a big change,” Cabacar said. “Everyone here at Rose makes you feel welcome, and that is what you need to have when working in an environment like this, so we are basically a big family.”

     Cabacar has learned many things from his experiences teaching.

     “One thing I’ve learned from teaching is [that] one size does not fit all,” Cabacar said. “In the teaching profession you have to realize that not all students learn the same way.”

     Overall, Cabacar enjoyed working at Rose and the supportive environment of staff throughout the school. 

     “Teaching can be stressful, so you have to have some kind of relief throughout the day,” Cabacar said. “There are many teachers here at Rose that just seeing them, talking to them, the way they laugh, the way they smile, joke around; it just helps the day become a better day, so I will always remember that.”

     Along with the staff, Cabacar will always have a special place in his heart for his student athletes.

     “I will always remember the student athletes, especially the volleyball players, that I have had the opportunity to teach in the classroom and coach on the volleyball court,” Cabacar said. 

     Cabacar loved his players and coaching so much that he picked up coaching for Pitt Community College (PCC).

     “For the past three seasons, I have been the head volleyball coach at Pitt Community College,” Cabacar said.

     He plans to continue coaching there for now, despite his retirement from Rose. Cabacar also is excited to have some time at home to take care of things. 

     “At this point I have a big honey-do list that my wife has prepared for me, so that’s going to take awhile,” Cabacar said. “I like doing yard work and I’ll be back coaching at Pitt in the spring with my returning players and new recruits.”

     Cabacar is thankful for his time spent at Rose. He wants to pass along some advice for newer teachers that he gained from a former mentor of his.

     “When I was ready to get out of the classroom my first year of teaching, I had a mentor give me some advice,” Cabacar said. “Her advice was to stay in the classroom, for things will get better because there is enough support around you that will help you get through those tough times.”

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