Road at Landis, China Grove border named for South Rowan’s Coach Deal
By Josh Bergeron
CHINA GROVE — Coach Larry Deal will forever live on at the gateway to South Rowan High School.
A road to be completed at the border between Landis and China Grove has been named for Deal, a South Rowan High School coaching legend and athletic director who died in October.
The road, to be known as Coach Deal Drive, will stretch from U.S. 29 to South Main Street, where it will connect with Kimball Road.
The stretch of road from South Main Street to North Chapel Street has already been built. Construction on the remainder of the road is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Landis gave its approval to the renaming during its town board meeting on Monday. China Grove approved the same renaming on Tuesday. It becomes effective as soon as road signs are placed. China Grove officials said they plan to schedule a formal unveiling with the Town of Landis.
Deal’s widow, Diane, said the location of the road fits perfectly. Once complete, the combination of Coach Deal Drive and Kimball Road will lead from U.S. 29 to South Rowan High School.
“It’s honestly the first thing I think of about the road,” Diane Deal said Tuesday. “But, I’d just as soon have him back than have a road named after him.”
Angie Chrismon, Deal’s daughter and the current South Rowan High athletic director, said the road “leads straight to the place where his heart was and he devoted his life to.”
China Grove Mayor Lee Withers also commented on the location of the future Coach Deal Drive.
“When you look at trying to do some type of project for him, why not have one that would connect two communities together (China Grove and Landis), drive traffic from highway 29 straight into South Rowan High School and do something that will be a gateway to the school,” Withers said. “Every school team and every visitor that might be coming to South Rowan will turn onto Coach Deal Drive.”
Diane Deal, Chrismon and a couple dozen others attended Tuesday’s China Grove Town Council meeting to witness the vote to honor Coach Deal.
A related renaming will lead to 33 houses off of Bostian Road seeing an address change. A strip of Bostian Road between Walnut Street and U.S. 29 will be renamed Elm Street.
Regardless of other plans, Withers said the Bostian Road renaming would have been required. In addition to honoring a South Rowan coaching legend, the Coach Deal Drive and Elm Street names eliminate any future confusion for firefighters, police or other first responders called to an emergency in the area, Withers said.
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246