02/28/07 — Moving on: Barrow resigns as Rosewood football coach and AD

View Archive

Moving on: Barrow resigns as Rosewood football coach and AD

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 28, 2007 2:41 PM

A tight-knit community that welcomed a young, energetic football coach with open arms and made him part of its extended family more than 14 years ago, said "goodbye" Tuesday afternoon.

Daniel Barrow officially resigned as head football coach and athletics director at Rosewood High School. The Siler City native met with the players and coaching staff Monday morning, and informed them he had accepted the vacant head football job at Southern Alamance.

The Alamance County Board of Education approved Barrow's appointment Monday evening.

"While we are very sad to lose coach Barrow, we certainly don't fault him for making this decision based on what he believes is important for him at this time of his career," said Rosewood High principal David Lewis.

"He has certainly earned the right to choose how he is going to finish out his career. I'm sad for us, but happy for him."

Barrow is expected to assume his football duties at Southern Alamance before the school year ends. His departure leaves two openings in the athletics department.

Lewis said that Daniel Mitchell, who coaches the men's soccer and basketball teams, will serve as interim athletics director when Barrow leaves. Lewis selected Mitchell based on his organizational skills and his strong relationships with the other coaches on staff.

Finding a replacement for Barrow won't be an easy task, contends Lewis. He accepts the ultimate responsibility of filling the position, but plans to develop a committee that has faculty and community representation. Barrow will not be involved in the search for his successor.

Depending on the candidate pool, Lewis might either hire a football coach/athletics director, or split the position.

"I think it takes a very special person to handle the responsibilities of both job and do them both well," said Lewis. "I think it would be very difficult for someone to step into both jobs and do both well from the get-go.

"Football is labor-intensive and is the first sport of the year that gets up and running. I think it would be a lot to ask for one single person to step in and do both right off the bat.

"If the right candidate came along, I'm certainly not adverse to it."

Barrow understands and respects Lewis' plight. He spent four seasons as head football coach and built a powerhouse track program from scratch. Four years after his arrival, then-athletics director Branch Pope retired and Barrow tookon the added responsibility.

Barrow took eight teams to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs and compiled a 73-82-1 record during 14 seasons. His 1999 team seized the Carolina Conference championship.

Bright purple banners, which hang in the gymnasium, recognize the achievements of Barrow's success on the football field and track. But the former high school quarterback is most proud of three things -- getting the football stadium named after Pope, pushing the proposal of subdividing the 1-A football playoffs along with North Duplin athletics director Ken Avent Jr., and helping increase participation in sports through more junior varsity programs.

Barrow said the community support has always been outstanding and has been grateful to become part of the family. He also attributes his success to his coaching staff.

Lewis agreed.

"We're fortunate to have a group of coaches who look out for each other," said Lewis. "This group around here is a family. When one of them needs something, the others respond. I know, as hard as it will be to finish the year without coach Barrow, this group will rise to this challenge.

"They will do a great job at it."

Admittedly, the athletics program has been on auto-pilot for a few seasons. A consistent system is in place and the coaches know each other well, and how they think. But Barrow finds himself ready for a new challenge and said that Southern Alamance reminds him of Rosewood, but on a bigger scale.

Barrow is also looking forward to reuniting with former Guilford College teammate Eric Holsenbach. The two have stayed in touch since former Southern Alamance football coach Tony Perrou perished in a car accident during the season.

Ironically, Barrow encouraged Holsenbach -- who served as interim coach upon Perrou's passing -- to apply for the vacant position. Holsenbach eventually withdrew his name after the Christmas holidays and phoned Barrow of his decision.

Holsenbach and Barrow met two weeks ago at the N.C. Football Coaches Clinic, and the two further discussed the opening. The morning Barrow planned to return to Goldsboro, Holsenbach said Southern Alamance principal Dawn Madren could meet with him later that afternoon.

"I was impressed with her when I was talking to her and she reminded me a lot of Mr. Lewis," said Barrow. "She's very professional, wants to do things right and wants to do things by the book. She trusts her AD and lets him do his job.

"One thing came to another and before I knew it we had been there for three hours."

Once the meeting ended, Madren offered Barrow the job.

Although his parents have passed away, Barrow couldn't resist the opportunity to return home. He spoke with his wife Laurie and children, Daniel Jr. and Abigail. Daniel Jr. is a senior in the Teaching Fellows program at Elon College and Abigail is a freshman at UNC Greensboro.

Barrow also talked extensively with Lewis. He made his final decision Friday.

"I wouldn't go if I didn't think it was a good job," said Barrow, whose 20-year career record is 98-111-1. "If I'm going to make a move, this is probably my best opportunity because of my age and how long I've been in (the profession).

"It is exciting to do it more one time."