Football coaching carousel turns at area high schools

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 07:23 PM

The only head football coach on Carrboro High School’s sideline since it opened in 2007 figured that’s where he’d happily end his career.

“When I took the Carrboro job, I thought I’d be there until I retired,” Jason Tudryn said.

But Tudryn, who got Carrboro to the 2-AA state championship game in 2012, is North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora’s new director of high school relations. He took the job in April and in that role will help with UNC’s recruiting and football camps.

Carrboro athletics director April Ross said interviews are underway to find someone to build on what was started by Tudryn, who constructed the school’s football program from scratch.

More movement in the area has East Chapel Hill and South Granville high schools in the hunt for head football coaches.

Former ECH head coach Jon Sherman has taken a job as an assistant coach at Fayetteville’s Byrd High School. He took charge at ECH in 2013 when Bill Renner left the helm after the 2012 season. Renner spent 2013 as the offensive coordinator for Northwood coach Bill Hall.

The upcoming season will include Hall’s final play call. He’s retiring.

“It’s the last hurrah,” Hall said.

Hall’s been coaching football for 28 years, and it’s gotten to the point where he no longer can justify the time away from his family with the $2,250 paycheck he receives for his services that have him dealing with some aspect of the game pretty much all year. He said it wasn’t like that when he started in 1988. But now with players in seven-on-seven drills and pounding weights when the football season is over, the time really adds up, Hall said.

“It’s a whole lot of hours,” Hall said.

Don’t look for Hall to join Tudryn on the next level.

“The college life never interested me,” Hall said.

Hall said he’s not sure who Northwood’s next coach will be but hopes to have at least a say in the matter.

ECH athletics director Ray Hartsfield said he begrudges no man for making career moves, but the Wildcats have had back-to-back short-term coaches and really could use some stability.

“We’ve just got to find somebody that really wants to be at East Chapel Hill and build the program,” Hartsfield said.

Former South Granville head coach Mike Hobgood has taken command of the football program at Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School. South Granville athletics director Don Colgan has been running the football team in the interim. Candidates to replace Hobgood — he played at Northern High School and UNC — have been interviewed, and the Granville County Board of Education during its June 26 meeting could sign off on South Granville’s new coach, Colgan said.

High school school coaches don’t get paid very much for their extra-curricular activities. In Durham Public Schools, a football coach with no experience makes $3,379 per season, DPS athletics director Larry McDonald said. The most experienced football coaches in the school system earn $8,318 per season, he said.

Add up the hours that could include anything from field preparation to film sessions on opposing teams and the stipends some coaches receive more or less make them volunteers who receive tips for their time and service.

Yet Hobgood has opted out of a successful, lower-profile, 2-A coaching situation at South Granville to see what he can do with 4-A Leesville Road that presumably comes with more demands and proverbially brighter Friday night lights.

“He’s an extremely competitive dude,” Tudryn said.

Tudryn said he would have relished an opportunity to coach high school football at a larger school. With that comes a larger pool of talent from which to pull, not to mention simply having plenty of bodies that do away with worries about not having enough players to develop on the junior varsity level, Tudryn said. And players and coaches alike get a little more fired up by bigger crowds at bigger schools, he said.

Carrboro was on a pretty big stage at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium that night on Dec. 1, 2012, when South Iredell beat the Jaguars 30-27 to win the state championship. That was the first time Carrboro lost a game that season. Tudryn had the Jags playing at a very high level that year.

“He will be truly missed by the Carrboro community,” Ross said.

Carrboro’s next football coach needs to understand something about that community, Tudryn said.

“Carrboro’s a different place,” Tudryn said. “Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are like Ivy League high schools.”

Football players at Carrboro High go to class and do their homework, Tudryn said. He said he didn’t worry about Jaguars maintaining their eligibility to play. The concern at Carrboro had to do with guys potentially studying so hard that they wouldn’t have much left in the tank for football, he explained. Carrboro’s next coach needs to understand that, Tudryn said.