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Atlantic Cape Honors Long-Time Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bobby Royal, Sr. During Pregame Ceremony

12/06/2023 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
Atlantic Cape's Men's Basketball team with former Head Coach and honoree Bobby Royal, Sr.

MAYS LANDING — For nearly 40 years at Atlantic Cape Community College, former Men’s Basketball Head Coach and Athletic Director Bobby Royal, Sr. touched the lives of so many of his student athletes that his generosity has never been forgotten. So, it was fitting that some of them returned to the college’s Mays Landing campus on December 5 to honor their former coach, father figure and mentor.

Bobby Royal Sr shares a laugh during the formal ceremonyAtlantic Cape held a formal gathering in the STEM Building with Royal’s family, friends, former players and coworkers prior to presenting him with a framed, navy blue team-autographed #55 jersey in Jonathan Pitney Gymnasium before the Buccaneers game against Rowan College Cumberland County.

“We are here tonight to honor a remarkable individual who has left a mark on, not only this college, but on our community,” said Atlantic Cape’s Vice President, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Dr. Natalie Devonish. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude and recognition to Mr. Bobby Royal, Sr. for the profound impact he has had.”

Royal, who retired from the college in 2012 after a 38-year career, reminisced about his time at Atlantic Cape, recalled past student athletes and thanked his wife, Carmen, and family members in attendance for their unequivocal support. Royal also humbly looked back at his time reverently.

“This is a real honor and surprise to me. It means that there are some really good people, nice people that remember all of the hard times that we had in terms of creating this basketball program here. I am hoping that because of something I have done that the program will continue to grow. I wish the world of luck to the coaches, athletic director and all of the people that run this program because athletics is a great asset for this college.”

Royal stressed the importance that a robust athletics program plays in the overall health of institutions of higher education and the student athletes who participate.

“It’s an inspiration for the students to go to this college. Athletics is inspirational and important for the growth of colleges and universities. Academics are very important too, but also the athletic programs help the students grow. So, this is important.”

Bobby Royal Sr and Allen Ragland share an embraceCurrent Atlantic Cape Men’s Basketball Head Coach Allen Ragland was emotional as he spoke of the impact that Royal has had on his life and career from his youthful days as a young student and athlete to today as head coach and role model.

“It’s an honor to be here. I am here because of you. You have been my mentor since I was 11-12 years old. This is a dream job for me because I know how much work you put into this program and community,” said Ragland. “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank you in my heart and spiritually. My goal is to bring that national championship here and to continue helping these students graduate the way that you always wanted them to do. I thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for me.”

Some of Coach Royal’s former players spoke of how instrumental he was in molding their lives.

Bobby Royal Sr and former player Wayne Dozier“Bobby set the tone for me as soon as I came in the door. Every step of the way when I first came to Atlantic Cape, coach Royal took me under his wing. Anything I needed,” said Pleasantville native Wayne Dozier, who played for Royal from 1998-2000 and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 2000. “He wasn’t just a coach, he was more like a father. He had an open-door policy at all times whether it be about school, life or home he was always that father figure.”

“We were so fortunate because when I started we didn’t have a head coach. Then, he (coach Royal) came walking in the door looking dapper with his nice suit and hat on, and he said he’s going to be the coach,” said Roger Lillo, a recently-retired Wildwood police officer who played for Royal from 1991-93. “From week one he took a liking to me and we just built a bond for the next two years. I considered him like a second father. He always looked out for me. I owe a lot of my success to him.”

In bringing past and present together on this night, the current Buccaneers Men’s Basketball team gathered at center court in Pitney Gymnasium as Royal was presented with his team-autographed jersey. And, in the end, the Buccaneer hoopsters capped off the evening with a resounding 108-81 victory over Rowan College Cumberland County.

Click here to view a photo gallery from this event.


About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape Community College is a Middle States accredited and 2022 Achieving the Dream Leader College proudly serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. As a comprehensive, two-year community college, Atlantic Cape offers 47 undergraduate degree programs, and 33 certificate and workforce development professional series programs at its Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May campuses. Atlantic Cape is home to the renowned Academy of Culinary Arts, rated the top culinary school in New Jersey, and for more than 50 years, our highly-acclaimed Nursing program. Atlantic Cape also partners with several four-year universities to offer students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree without having to leave home.