“We’re not your momma! Clean your table up!”

After working in a prison and teaching for decades in a public school, Coach Mike Lancaster now serves as the backbone of the cafeteria staff


Staff photo

In addition to working in the cafeteria and monitoring students during lunch periods, Coach Lancaster also coaches football, baseball, and wrestling at St. Pius X.

Working in the St. Pius X cafeteria requires patience, diligence, and most importantly, a tough demeanor. As one of the two male members of the cafeteria staff, Coach Mike Lancaster has made sure to use his coaching background to keep the lunchroom in check.

“I retired from public school in 2014. I spent 35 years teaching public school. This is year 10 [at St. Pius).  I was doing football and baseball and when I retired I took over wrestling,” Coach Lancaster said. 

With a passion for sports, Coach Lancaster has always known that he wanted his career to be centered on teaching and coaching youth.

“Oh Lord, I don’t know that I ever wanted to do anything else. I knew that I wanted to work in some type of sports venue. While I was in college, before I got out of school, I was even helping with youth programs and doing that,” he explained.

Keeping in line with his love of regimentation, Coach Lancaster actually spent time working at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in recreation. However, he came to realize that his family was more important than his work.

“But the worst part about that is all the convicts have to have a job, so I didn’t get to start work until about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, so I’d never see my family,” he said. “So I said, ‘Well you know what? I think I need to coach.’ So, I just flipped over, that’s how it happened!”

Two years ago, however, when a spot opened up in the cafeteria, St. Pius chose Coach Lancaster to take on this new role.

“My favorite thing about being in the cafeteria is obviously that I get to see you guys in a different light than on the athletic field,” Coach Lancaster said.

Although the cafeteria can get chaotic at times, Coach Lancaster’s emphasis on courtesy and integrity keeps students grounded.

“I’m just a firm believer in doing the right thing,” he said. “I don’t want to have to get onto somebody about picking their stuff up. We’re not your momma! Clean your table up!” 

So, students, the next time you consider leaving trash on your table or fooling around outside, just remember that Coach Lancaster does have experience working in the prison system.