WHS football coaching search enters final stage

Published 5:29 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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The Pam Pack football community won’t have to wait much longer to find out who will be the next head coach.

According to WHS Athletic Director Lane Raper, a seven-person search committee made up of six school personnel and new Beaufort County Athletic Director Keith Mitchell interviewed eight candidates over the past two weeks and have narrowed the field to two.

“We are checking references and doing background checks now and plan on making an offer next week,” Raper said. “We feel like we have two strong candidates and are looking for someone with great leadership skills to handle a 75-player program.”

The search began after head coach Perry Owens announced his resignation just over two weeks ago to take an assistant coaching and teaching position at his alma mater, John A. Holmes HS in Edenton.

Owens led the Pack to the 2A East finals in 2022 and produced the highest-scoring offense in school history.

Word of Owens’ departure spread quickly throughout the coaching community and Raper said multiple good candidates emerged quickly.

He added that previous head coaching experience wasn’t a requirement, but the final group included those with at least five years experience as an offensive or defensive coordinator or head coaching experience.

“We’re pleased with the group we interviewed and are excited about wrapping this up next week, so our program can move forward,” he said. “We know we will have a few teaching vacancies soon and hopefully; we’ll be able to hire assistant coaches to fill at least two of them. We are planning on having our new coach in place for Board of Education approval at their next meeting in early June.”

Raper also mentioned the school is looking for a new athletic trainer to replace Kiersten Smith, who resigned to take a non-school related position.