Prep Football: Cutshaw relieved of duties at North
By Ronnie Gallagher
SPENCER ó Avery Cutshaw confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he has been relieved of his head football coaching duties at North Rowan.
Cutshaw had his athletics director position stripped as well.
Cutshaw said principal Rodney Bass called him into his office during lunch on Tuesday and gave him the news.
“We’re changing academically,” Bass said. “The limelight has been on the classroom. Now, it’s time for a change athletic director and football-wise.”
Cutshaw has also been a head coach at West Davidson and Lexington. He replaced Roger Seacrest at North in 2002 and had a 38-35 record with the Cavaliers.
“It’s unfortunate,” Bass said. “Avery’s a great guy with great character.”
Cutshaw’s teams shared the CCC championship in 2003 and 2005. His 2005 team was his best, finishing 9-4.
In his six seasons, he had only one losing campaign in the CCC. Last season, North was 5-7 overall and 3-3 in the league.
“It’s more than just wins and losses,” Bass said. “It’s the whole environment. There’s a million and one things that go with it. As an AD and football coach, he didn’t have the total sense of community.”
Friday night football crowds were dwindling, and that concerned Bass.
“Looking at the bleachers, there weren’t many (fans) there,” he said. “There was a lack of community support. Lots of folks were not backing the program anymore.”
Bass acknowledged the pressure of North Rowan being in the media spotlight lately but noted, “not toward athletics. It was more toward academics.”
Asked if the pressure from grumbling parents carried over to athletics and influenced his decisions on coaching positions, Bass said, “No sir, that’s not true. Parents do not run the school.”
Cutshaw leaves as North prepares to go from a 2A classification to 1A, a move Cutshaw recently said he was excited about. He was coming off an appearance as an assistant in the East-West All-Star game. So he was caught by surprise when Bass called him in Tuesday.
Bass’ only concern about going to 1A are the long bus drives. He said he will work on schedules to help the athletes. He is encouraged that academic scores have risen and he wants the same for athletics.
The job will be posted today, and Bass expects many candidates.
“With North’s reputation as an overall good athletic program, I think we’ll get the right person for the job,” he said.
Cutshaw’s P.E. teaching job was not taken away, Bass said.
Cutshaw’s wife, Ruby, who served as assistant AD and softball coach, is being reassigned to Knox Middle School.
“I have a world of admiration for (Cutshaw),” Bass said. “I just needed to make a change.”
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.