Matt Coakley claims overall apprentice trophy at statewide lineman competition
ORLANDO, Fla. – Scoring the total amount of points possible, OUC Line Technician II, Matt Coakley won the Overall Apprentice trophy in the 2022 Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) Lineman Competition on Feb. 26 in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Competing in his fourth and final competition as an apprentice, Coakley, took home the top individual honor for his performance in five timed skill tests, each worth 100 points, and garnering the highest score on the written exam for three more points. Although he was flawless in the “mystery” event, so called because apprentices only learn about what it entails on the eve of the competition, his final time put him in third place in that contest. His overall total of 503 points nipped four apprentices from other utilities by three points.
Coakley’s best of show finish marks the first time an OUC apprentice has won the Overall individual award since 2004.
“I really wanted to do well this year because it was my last as an apprentice,” said Coakley, who lives in Wedgefield in east Orange County. “OUC supported our team by giving us the time to train, and that’s why I was prepared and able to do my best.”
Also known as the lineman rodeo, the annual FMEA-sponsored event brings together lineworkers from across the state for fun but fierce competition. This year, nine municipal and two co-op utilities were represented by 65 apprentices and 19, three-member journeyman teams. OUC’s team, which was led by Richard Boley, Lead Line Technician, was made up of four apprentices and two journeyman groups.
In addition to the top apprentice honor, Coakley was awarded a $1,000 check by FMEA to use toward expenses for competing in the American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo in Austin, Texas, on March 25-26. OUC is sending all members of its rodeo team to the national competition.
About OUC—The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to about 400,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. Visit www.ouc.com to learn more about our commitment to reliability, affordability and sustainability.