Coghill selected to guide MOC men's, women's tennis
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 20, 2010 1:51 AM
Kevin Coghill is going back to college.
As a coach this time, and at his alma mater, no less.
Coghill has been selected to guide the men's and women's tennis programs at Mount Olive College. He succeeds Dr. Burt Lewis, who stepped down May 14 to serve as academic chairman for the school's Recreation and Leisure Studies Department.
"It was a tough decision, hard to leave all the kids I've coached and taught," said Coghill, who played for Lewis. "I'm lucky and blessed to get this opportunity. I don't think many people get the opportunity to go and coach at the place they played."
A Wayne County native, Coghill has coached boys' basketball at Greenwood Middle and men's tennis at Charles B. Aycock. He guided Greenwood to back-to-back Wayne County Middle School Athletic Conference championships, and enjoyed a successful four-year stint with the Golden Falcons.
Aycock won three consecutive Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season championships from 2008-2010, and made appearances in the N.C. High School Athletic Association eastern regional dual-team finals in 2008 and 2009. The Golden Falcons compiled a 66-15 record during Coghill's tenure.
"He's been very good for (the) Aycock boys' tennis (program)," said Aycock athletics director Charles Davis. "He's done a great job for us (and) he's left the tennis program in good shape. He's a hard worker and we hate to see him go, but I definitely understand.
"He's going to be a great asset for Mount Olive College."
Davis said the search for Coghill's replacement will begin after June 30 when the state releases its education budget, which includes teaching allotments. Coghill has offered to assist Davis in finding a successor.
Lewis helped usher MOC into the Division II era 14 seasons ago. He has led the last eight Trojan men's teams to top-four finishes in conference play, including the program's lone regular-season championship in 2005. Coghill, ironically, served as an assistant on that team which finished 10-0 against Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference opposition.
The Trojan women's team won its first-ever Conference Carolinas title in 2009 and reached the finals of the season-ending tournament. MOC earned its second trip to the NCAA tournament, and first since 2000.
"I want us to be contenders every year for conference championships, and make it into regional play," said Coghill.
Coghill said the ultimate challenge will be recruiting. Lewis developed a pipeline for foreign players, who have undoubtedly boosted the program's reputation on the Division II scene.
"We're known for having a lot of international players," said Coghill. "Relating to them may be the most difficult thing for me, but I think we'll be able to relate through tennis. I have coached girls privately, but it's been a little while since I've coached a girls' team.
"I'm excited about working with college kids. Coach Lewis has done a great job building the men's and women's tennis programs, and I look forward to the challenge of continuing that level of success."