Prep Football: Kluttz had a knack for hiring winners

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2011

By Ronnie Gallagher
RALEIGH — It was so appropriate that Henry Kluttz was representing the school system Monday when he traveled with West Rowan to the state championship press conference.
Scott Young is his guy.
Kluttz attended as the interim associate superintendent for Walter Hart, who left recently. But back in 1998, Kluttz was the principal at West looking for the next Falcon football coach. He picked a 28-year-old with no head coaching experience and only a couple of years as an assistant at Davie.
In fact, Kluttz also hired boys basketball coach Mike Gurley soon after Young. You’re hard-pressed to come up with a school with two coaches in the major sports as successful as Gurley and Young. And you can thank Kluttz for bringing them to Rowan County.
Gurley once won 61 straight games and has two state championships at the school, three for his career. Young had a 46-game win streak broken this year but he can make it four state titles Saturday when the Falcons play Havelock.
Kluttz was asked if he felt pride in those coaches.
“Oh, sure you do,” he said. “Anytime you have people, whether its in the classroom or coaching, and they have a great deal of success, as both of these men have, (you’re proud).”
While basketball was good when Gurley arrived, Kluttz took a chance on Young, who had done his student-teaching at West.
“We hired him because he was the best candidate,” Kluttz said.
“You know what our success was in football in the first 25-30 years,” Kluttz said. “It wasn’t much.”
And it still wasn’t after Young’s first season. It’s easy to forget he started 3-8.
“Our first conference title came in 2000 and I was still there,” Kluttz said. “We were 12-2. That was uncharted waters. They had never gone through that area of football before.”
Now, Young is revered as one of the state’s top high school football coaches.
“I don’t know how you could predict this part of your career at such a young age,” Kluttz said. “Four in a row? There’s no way anyone could’ve envisioned that.”