Former Lady Spartans coach speaks out

Jul. 05, 2014 @ 10:33 PM

Former Southern High School girls' basketball coach Monique Fearrington in no uncertain terms said the shot callers there did her wrong.

Southern athletics director Darius Robinson said the program needed to go in another direction, so he replaced Fearrington with Teddy McKoy, who got the team to the third round of the state's 4-A playoffs in 2009.

Fearrington appeared unclear about this new direction for the Lady Spartans. 

“When I was hired to coach at Southern, I thought that they were hiring me because they were trying to build a successful women’s basketball program,” Fearrington said. “My first two years were great, and I accomplished a lot with the little that we had.”

Fearrington last season got the Spartans as far as the first round of the 3-A playoffs.

In 2013, Southern moved to the newly created 3-A Big Eight Conference based on lower student enrollment at the school.

In 2012-13, Fearrington in her first season at Southern guided the Lady Spartans to the second round of the 4-A playoffs and was the coach of the year in the PAC-6.

“So when (Robinson) called me on the phone to tell me that he wanted to go in a different direction with the girls' basketball team, I was a little confused,” Fearrington said. “There was no reasoning behind it. At least it wasn’t explained to me.”

Robinson told The Herald-Sun that the girls’ basketball program at Southern needed a coach who has the sort of connections that could get the players on the radars of college coaches.

McKoy coached an Amateur Athletic Union team last season and has led girls' basketball programs at Voyager Academy High School and at Raleigh’s Broughton High School.

Fearrington played at N.C. Central and then had a professional basketball career in France.

Robinson said in McKoy he is getting a coach who will be more visible on campus.

McKoy, a barber, said he'd make his presence felt at Southern as a hall monitor.

Fearrington works at Lakeview School, an alternative program within Durham Public Schools.

Chapel Hill High School girls' basketball coach Sherry Norris taught physical education at Seawell Elementary School in Chapel Hill before retiring in April. Splitting time between campuses didn't keep her Tigers from winning the 3-A championship this past season.

“To tell someone who earned coach-of-the-year (honors) her first year coaching that they are not coaching a team anymore because they are going in a different direction is a cop out,” Fearrington said.  “Then I hear that it’s because the new coach that you want has more connections. This is high school — how many connections do you have to have other than being able to communicate with college coaches? All of this is a shock to me, but all I can say is that I thank Southern for the opportunity, and now I’m moving on to bigger ventures. 

“Just a note to all the athletic directors out there: You have to treat your coaches the way that you want to be treated. When coaches that work for you are dedicated and loyal, be honest with them and do them right.”