I can tell you that Luke is one of the great humans I know. Truly. I was with him one day when he got a call from a former player from years before. Heard him say “I can help out...let’s meet later” I asked him what that was. He said the guy had two young kids and zero money for diapers.
He just came in at the wrong time. The job is only “bad” if you live and die with wins and losses and that’s how you judge your self worth. Which many do lol....Piedmont is an amazing place to work. I was there for six years and loved it. The only reason I didn’t take the job when Coach Massey passed was I had already completed the necessary certifications and education to go into strength and conditioning full-time. I stayed on one more year to help Luke with the transition and we had a blast. I then went into s and c full time. People who said it was because I wouldn’t work for Luke are making that up. Fake news.
Piedmont isn’t a bad school, in fact it’s the best place I’ve ever taught hands down.
The current Admin team is by far the best top to bottom I’ve ever seen and the Principal is a dream to work for. He wlll do anything in his power to help you succeed.
The parents are great for the most part. There was a small handful that were rude and vocal. I know for a fact that after the event that UC parent spoke about..those parents were spoken with by admin. I was at that event. It was embarrassing for the parents and the school. Those people are lucky they were allowed to come back. I still live in that community and my step daughter attends PHS. There is no room for that type of behavior. Don’t like the offense? Go ahead and yell. To get personal with a man’s family in the stands? I will tell you I texted the principal myself and told him who it was and what was being said. I give Luke credit for staying strong and not responding. I would have went after them without a doubt if it was me.
The players and parents are not going to be an issue for the next coach. This upcoming group is a supportive group of fine people.
Ron Massey was a great man and my friend and mentor. He brought me with him to be the strength coach in 2012. He was obsessed with attention to detail and discipline and the kids ate it up. People forget though...we won 13 games the first two years we had:
a 6-4 QB who plays at Harvard
a 270 pound lineman who started at D1
a 270 pound d line who was a D2 All Conf player
a two-way STUD who started as a safety at Davidson
a DT that was the best of ever been around who was just 5-10 but got multiple D2 offers and chose not to play
a OT that went to Wingate and played before taking up professional fishing
a RB that started at Elon
and a slew of other guys who could have played small college ball.
Luke’s first year we went 6-6 and lost 3 games by 6 or less, averaged 2nd most points in school history...but we had the school’s all-time leading rusher and one of the best senior classes that ever went through. That group was 25 deep and most were 3-4 year starters.
So we had a legendary HC and won 13 games in two years. Not to mention the some of the best players that ever played at Piedmont. To expect to be a consistent 9-2, 8-3 team at Piedmont isn’t realistic. If you can live with that...you won’t work with better people. It’s a great situation.
Looking at the last two years...I had this conversation with another coach that was with us during the better seasons....MAYBE two of the guys who started the last two years would have started in 2013. Not to mention the new league features Weddington, Catholic, Sun Valley, Marvin Ridge and Cuthbertson. All teams who would have vastly superior athletes. To throw all the blame at the feet of any one person isn’t plausible. Ron was the best I’d ever been around. I’m proud to say he was my mentor. I literally cried for two days when he died. Loved him. You know what? PHS wouldn’t have won many more or probably anymore games with him at the helm the last couple years. If he was alive he would have said the same thing.
Piedmont is a special place. The job from 8-3 is second to none. The staff is tight-nit. Admin and AD are awesome. Zero discipline issues during the day. Most kids have two parents and know how to act. The kids will accept and NEED hardcore accountability. They will respond. The community is 98 pct great people. We raised 30 grand for the new weightroom in 3 months. I wished it would have worked out for Luke cause he is the man and a brother.. Now I’m hoping that there is a few solid guys out there willing to throw themselves into that job but understand that no matter how hard you work...sometimes you will get beat.
Sorry for the length lol I’m a York Cougar through and through. Been gone from PHS over a year. As a parent and community member I still love and support the Panthers. I hope this motivates a few guys who thrive on a challenge to look into this job.