A proven athletics administrator and a renowned and accomplished coach, Couch comes to SDS from Converse College where she has served as director of athletics since 2006. However, 28 of her roughly 40 years as an athletics professional were spent as a physical education teacher and coach in Spartanburg County schools. Couch, a Spartanburg native, said she is looking forward to returning to an elementary and secondary environment.
"I am excited to accept the position of athletic director at Spartanburg Day School," she said. "I very much respect and admire the program that has already been built and am eager to maintain that momentum. I believe the values and life skills gained from athletics have important roles in the bigger educational experience and am impressed by the SDS's long-standing dedication to the student-athlete. I am looking forward to joining this team and to my next journey with the Griffins."
Prior to working as an administrator at the collegiate level, Couch spent nine years at Dorman High School as a PE teacher, department chair and girls' basketball coach, leading the 4A Cavaliers to three state championships during her tenure. Before Dorman, she taught PE at Inman Elementary while also coaching golf, volleyball and basketball at Chapman High School. She also previously worked as a PE teacher and coach at Broome High School and at Byrnes High School, as well as serving as a coach and coordinator of women's athletics at Limestone College.
Couch has earned recognition at the local and national level, including the Girl Scouts' 2015 Boots and Pearls Women of Distinction Award, being named the 2007 WBCA National High School Coach of the Year and coaching the 2004 Nike All-American Game. She has numerous state and region coaching awards.
Couch earned a masters of education degree from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education from Winthrop College.
"Joy's passion for the role of athletics in a student's educational experience is such a strong match for our school mission," said SDS Head of School Rachel Deems. "Her leadership, energy and ongoing record of accomplishment will shape the future of Griffin Athletics and impact positively the partnerships we value between coaches, faculty, students and families."