01/20/05 — OPINION -- Help wanted at Goldsboro High

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OPINION -- Help wanted at Goldsboro High

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on January 20, 2005 1:55 PM

Even with his team in the thick of the race for one of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference's five NCHSAA playoff berths, the mind of Goldsboro High men's basketball coach Randy Jordan can't help but turn to tennis and women's soccer.

Such is life for a coach that also doubles as his school's athletics director -- and for a very good reason.

Goldsboro is looking to resurrect men's tennis this spring following a two-year hiatus and add a women's JV soccer team.

There's only one (big) problem: The Cougars have no coaches for either sport. Not yet, at least.

The Goldsboro High administration, led by Jordan's efforts, are now engaged in a fullcourt press to bring in qualified coaches to lead the new programs.

While time is running short to fill the positions -- high schools begin spring practices on Feb. 14 -- Jordan believes fielding these two teams is an obligation the school's athletics department must meet.

"As an athletics director, it breaks your heart to know you have students out there who want to play these sports we haven't been able to offer," Jordan said. "We want to offer a full range and schedule of sports, and we want to do it right now.

"When you've got this many girls that want to play a sport like soccer, your administration has to act. Our administration has been great with helping this get moving."

The demand is there.

Goldsboro's student population has yielded no less than 35 young ladies expressing a serious interest in playing soccer -- a mighty example of Cougar Pride.

"If you can get the kids to come out, you've won half the battle," Jordan said. "This year, we're certain we have enough kids for both soccer and tennis."

With the numbers battle seemingly won, Goldsboro must now find its coaches to complete the task.

Certified teachers who have, or are willing to obtain, a CDL license -- necessary to drive team buses -- are the Cougars' ideal candidates. But coaches not looking to teach at Goldsboro High will also be considered.

Wayne County Schools mandates that no teacher currently employed by another county school can apply for either position. Would-be coaches from surrounding counties are being encouraged to apply.

Unfortunately, Wayne County Schools' supplemental contract prevents Goldsboro from allowing paid assistant coaches for the new programs. Volunteer assistants can come aboard should they pass the same screening process as head coaches.

"We're looking for coaches that are knowledgeable and can serve as teachers for these sports," Jordan said. "We've got all the equipment. We've got the balls, we've got the nets and the uniforms. We just need coaches that are qualified and interested. Any coach that loves their sport and is willing to spend the time and make a commitment to the program is welcome."

The men's tennis team is currently slated to face only ECC competition this spring, while the women's JV soccer team will play a schedule comprised of conference teams with a few intracounty foes thrown in.

Jordan was working the phones with Wayne Country Day in hopes of scheduling soccer matches before being interviewed for this column.

"We've gotten nothing but positive feedback from other athletics directors in the ECC," Jordan replied when asked if tweaking conference schedules for the upcoming seasons had been a problem.

Due to NCHSAA realignment in 2005-06, Goldsboro will be leaving the ECC for the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference -- meaning that the new Cougars coaches will face the following schools as competition:

* Farmville Central

* Greene Central

* North Lenoir

* North Pitt

* Tarboro High

Is building up a new program into a consistent winner an offer too good for would-be coaches in the area to resist? Jordan believes he knows the answer.

"There's no better opportunity for a coach than to build a program from scratch," he said. "Nothing is greater than that. There's nothing more satisfying. Think of the pride that goes into building a team into a winner."

Jordan, a two-time News-Argus coach of the year, knows a thing or two about building a winning program.

Prospective coaches are encouraged to contact either Jordan or Goldsboro principal Patricia Burden at the school via telephone at 919-731-5930.

"Come in, and get to know us," Jordan said. "Spend some time with us. If you're interested, work with us. We're always willing to work with you and be as flexible as we can be within the framework of the NCHSAA. Help us build our kids' confidence level and skills.

"Help us make our athletes ready to compete on the varsity level."

It sounds like a worthy challenge. Are you up to it?

(News-Argus sports editor Neil Fuller can be reached at nfuller@newsargus.com.)