Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gay to step down as Fike AD, girls basketball coach

John Gay reportedly will not return as Fike athletic director or varsity girls basketball coach next year.

Circumstances are still unclear but I am told that Gay could stay at Fike as a teacher or he may retire. The end of this school year will be his 30th as a teacher and a coach.

Gay took over as Fike AD around the beginning of 1998 and became the second Fike girls basketball coach since merger when he succeeded the late Eddie Summerlin in March, 1999. Gay, a Saratoga native, coached at North Edgecombe, East Burke and Kinston before coming to Fike in the 1993-94 school year.

I, for one, will be sorry to see Gay leave Fike. He has always been one of the most thoroughly prepared and helpful ADs around, which makes life much easier for the perpetually under-prepared sports editor.

His departure would be another in a tumultuous spring at Fike. Longtime football coach Richie Pridgen retired in January and was replaced by assistant coach Kim Brown while George Drawhorn is stepping aside after 19 seasons as boys basketball coach and former assistant Brent Secrest is taking over. Both Pridgen and Drawhorn held the title of longest-tenured coach in their respective sport in Fike history and Gay was the unbroken chain from the legendary Summerlin.

I'm wondering if the next bit of news from Fike is that baseball coach Will Flowers will call it a career. Hopefully not, even though Flowers might just have the longest tenure of anyone in Fike history not named Jim Boykin Jr. who clearly drinks daily from the fountain of youth.

Stay tuned for more details on Gay's departure and possible successors.

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