01/11/09 — Price resigns football post at E. Wayne

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Price resigns football post at E. Wayne

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on January 11, 2009 2:00 AM

The search and interview process has begun to hire a new varsity football coach at Eastern Wayne.

Jeff Price officially resigned his post late last week. He'll join the staff as an assistant coach at North Johnston, and will take Trevor Pilkington with him.

"Sometimes you see an opportunity and you just have to jump on it," said Price, who will receive a substantial increase in coaching supplement. "I have known coach (Tom) Nelson for a long time and I know what kind of program he runs.

"They are a quality football team."

Pilkington spent one season as Price's assistant after graduating from Charles B. Aycock and serving time on Randy Pinkowski's staff.

Eastern Wayne recorded just one winning season during Price's six-year tenure at the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference school. The Warriors compiled a 26-41-1 record and made four appearances in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

However, Price's final season was a roller-coaster ride.

The Warriors started the season 3-1, but lost their top running back -- Hassan Best -- to disciplinary reasons. Best's younger brother Lamar, who earned all-ECC honors, battled through injuries.

Junior varsity call-up Mac Stover was the team's top rusher in just eight games. Quarterback Dan Price surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season, but will graduate in June.

"Dan graduating did not factor into my decision," said coach Price, whose team lost a first-round playoff game at Hertford County. "My moving on has nothing to do with my son. It's just a football move."

Eastern Wayne athletics director Robert Peele said that Price did some good things with the football program. He also understood Price's decision to continue on another path in his career and wished him well in his endeavors.

Since 1990, the Warrior football program has enjoyed just four winning seasons. Eastern Wayne last won a playoff game in 1980 when it competed on the 4-A level.

Meanwhile, North Johnston finished 5-7 and finished runner-up in the Carolina 1-A Conference. The Panthers, who tied for the Carolina title in 2006, lost an opening-round playoff game against eventual eastern 1-AA finalist Midway.

Peele and Eastern Wayne principal Gene Byrd said Price's vacancy has not been posted on the NCHSAA Website. However, once word spread of Price's decision, they have already interviewed several candidates and hope to interview more.