05/10/07 — Britt named new Rosewood football coach

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Britt named new Rosewood football coach

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 10, 2007 1:49 PM

Robert Britt understands football-oriented communities.

He grew up and played at Bunn High School, a tradition-rich program which benefited greatly from its community support. There wasn't a Friday night that didn't pass when the stands weren't packed full of football-crazed fans.

Britt hopes to see the same enthusiasm at Rosewood, where he was officially named the new head football coach Wednesday afternoon. The Wayne County Board of Education approved Britt's appointment Monday evening and ended five weeks of tight-lipped speculation about who would take over the Class 1-A Carolina Conference program.

Rosewood principal David Lewis is especially relieved.

"We were deliberate in our search," admitted Lewis. "We wanted to check all the details and make sure we got the right person for this job. We took it very seriously because of the impact that athletics have on young men, particularly on football players.

"That's a group of kids that is going to be spending a lot of time year-round with this man. We wanted to make sure we had somebody with outstanding character, someone who possessed leadership skills to guide them in the right direction and somebody who was going to focus on not only helping them become better football players, but becoming better young men."

Lewis said Britt fit that mold.

"As we sat down and talked, we kept coming up with more things to talk about," said Lewis. "It just fit ... kind of hard to describe."

A selection committee perused 60 applications from five different states and considered candidates who either had ties to the area or were interested in moving to the area. The panel, which included faculty and community members, didn't venture too far outside the county when they selected Britt. The East Carolina graduate has served as defensive coordinator at Wilson Fike for the past six seasons.

Britt fills the vacancy left by Daniel Barrow, who resigned in February to become the new head football coach at Southern Alamance. In 14 seasons, Barrow took eight Rosewood teams to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs and compiled a 73-82-1 record. His 1999 team seized the Carolina Conference championship.

Like Lewis, Britt examined all his options. The close-knit attitude and community support appealed to him. Plus, he felt the academic background suited his family's needs as well. Britt's son will be an eighth-grader at Rosewood Middle School next fall.

"It's my biggest challenge," Britt said of his first-ever varsity job. "I look to put on the field a quality program. I want the town of Rosewood and Wayne County to be proud of the team we put on the field every Friday night.

"That's going to be a big responsibility."

Britt mingled with the returning players late Wednesday afternoon and fielded questions. His initial purpose is to build relationships with the football staff and players.

There are no short- or long-term goals in place ... yet.

"I want to get the coaching staff's input on ideas that I have and I want it to truly be a team effort," said Britt. "We're going to have the weight room open all summer and I plan to make some requirements of the kids. We've got a lot of work to get done.

"That's the plan right now."