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Long Beach Poly

Long Beach Poly AD Rob Shock Wins CIF-SS Champion For Character Award

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.

Longtime Long Beach Poly boys’ athletic director Rob Shock was honored in Long Beach last week by the CIF Southern Section. Shock joined other administrators, coaches, and athletes in being honored by the CIF-SS as a Champion For Character. With his friends, family, and other Poly admins on hand, Shock accepted the award at the Grand.

“It’s very special, seeing the Poly community, my family, my Poly family come out and support me,” said Shock. “People talk about Poly being family and everyone having each other’s back, it’s a special moment for me to see that.”

Shock is usually part of the behind-the-scenes staff who’s there for everyone else. He’s frequently the last one to leave the gym after basketball games, as he helps the custodial staff sweep the stands for trash, and he’s known throughout the school and city for his work ethic.

“You couldn’t ask for a better teammate than Rob,” said longtime Poly girls’ athletic director Crystal Irving.

Shock was nominated for the award by Nicole Lopez, a Poly admin last year who is now the principal at the Long Beach Adult School. In her nomination, Lopez wrote about Shock’s dedication to Poly’s coaches and student-athletes, as well as his positive outlook and work ethic.

Shock said that he was as surprised by the honor as he was grateful.

“All I try to do is work for our coaches and student athletes and try to make things easy for them,” said Shock. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of success at Poly but I always take pride in doing things the right way, and to be recognized as a Champion of Character is a truly special thing.”

In addition to a very nice trophy that Shock said he will put up in his office, Shock received a banner from the CIF-SS which he said he’ll add to the others in the Ron Palmer Pavilion.

“I’m not the first person from Poly to be honored, (former activities director) Terry Speir is one of the ones who helped get this award going,” he said. “I’ll be happy to add my name up there with our students and administrators who’ve been recognized.”

In addition to his wife and daughters, Shock was joined by Irving, Lopez, LBUSD high school superintendent Jay Camerino, Poly principal Bill Salas, assistant principal Michael Crowder-Jones, activities director Vincent Puth, as well as an entire other table of friends, family, and Poly coaches. He received the loudest cheers and ovation of the night, prompting CIF-SS commissioner Rob Wigod (a Long Beach native and Wilson alum) to crack, “Long Beach always shows up.”

In a heartfelt thank you video shown during the banquet, Shock thanked his current and former mentors at Poly, and cited the “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” sign over the school’s entrance as a continuing source of inspiration, something many alums including Billie Jean King have discussed as well.

“There’s a great community of very positive people who are always trying to do what’s best for Poly and for Long Beach, and I’m proud to be a part of that,” he said.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.