Sawyer accepts Manteo job

Published 5:30 pm Monday, December 5, 2016

MANTEO — Exactly three weeks after his resignation as the head football coach at Washington, Sport Sawyer accepted the same position at Manteo on Monday.

Sawyer’s resignation came because he felt the Pam Pack program needed changes. He felt stepping down as its skipper was the best change he could make not only for the team, but also himself.

“It just so happened that with the timing, (Manteo) has a coach that’s retiring,” Sawyer said of the process over the last few weeks. “Coach (Eddie) Twyne is retiring. He’s been coaching and teaching for 30 years. The timing happens to work out good for both.”

The idea to pursue the Manteo opening was a no-brainer for the free-agent coach. Sawyer remembers speaking with Walt Davis, a coach for the Redskins, at the East-West All-Star Game in 2010.

“I remember him talking about Manteo and how he really liked the area, the players and the coaches,” Sawyer said. “That just stood out over the years. I’m an eastern North Carolina guy, so those things kind of stood out.”

With a two-decade tenure coaching at Washington on his résumé, Sawyer is excited to see what kind of impact he can make. Manteo has a strong football history, and he is eager to build on the exceptional coaching lineage.

“Coach Twyne did a very good job with them. They won a lot of games,” Sawyer said. “Coach Twyne and coach Davis before him, they’ve got a tradition with football. I’m excited to go there and see if I can help build that tradition.”

Sawyer has yet to resign from the school system as a teacher, so he has to do that before he can get to work with the Redskins. He said he plans to meet with the current coaching staff after Christmas, and hopes to be ready to go come the spring semester.

“The goals are to go there and try to put the team the best we can there, have some fun and win some football games,” Sawyer said.

Schematically, Sawyer isn’t sure how the Redskins will run under him. Of course, with the hiring being fresh, he isn’t familiar with neither the coaches nor the players. However, Sawyer led the Pam Pack to plenty of success — including an appearance in the state championship two years ago — thanks, in part, to his versatility as a coach.

“I was really blessed at Washington with the assistant coaches and the players. We were able to do multiple things at Washington,” he said. “The coaches have been able to adapt to personnel, and the players adapted to different things. We ran the wing-T, we ran the pistol, we ran a little bit of everything.

“I’ve got to get there and see what the strengths of the coaching staff and strength of the players are. … I’m hoping to go shotgun and run some stuff like the slot formation at Washington.”

With Sawyer gone, the Pam Pack continues to move forward in its search for a new coach. In the meantime, the remaining coaches have made sure to keep the team together and get them in the weight room consistently.

The Pam Pack and Sawyer’s eyes are all looking forward, even if they’re going in different directions.