Bill Wyrick, as I reported on this website on Thursday, has accepted the defensive coordinator position at Harnett Central. Wyrick spent 12 years at Western Harnett, the last seven of which he served as the head football coach.
Wyrick is easy to get along with and a media member’s dream. He’s articulate, always makes time for interviews and even more, will break down schemes in a way that makes them easy to understand. From someone who knows, there’s nothing worse than a coach who likes, who actually enjoys, talking over your head about the nuances of the game. It’s a power trip, and Wyrick has never stooped to the lows of arrogance, at least not with me nor any other media member I’ve known who’s dealt with him.
But what also gets across from Wyrick is his character, especially how he deals with young people. Former Western Harnett star defensive lineman Marcus Pittman, who just finished up playing at Troy, is currently in a camp with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent. Pittman is clinging to the fringes of the NFL at this point, but who did he seek out before going down to New Orleans? Who did he see when he needed some extra drills to work on before he left? Who did he go to for advice?
Bill Wyrick. His coach.
This is kind of the point I was trying to get at with last week’s column. You get the feeling anymore than you’ll never again see a coach last at school a for two decades. That the Paul Gays and Charlie Spiveys, men who spend their lives mentoring their community’s youth and making a real indelible mark on kids’ futures, have gone the way of angry postings on message boards and collective efforts of ticked off parents, running the coaches out on a rail after a couple of bad seasons.
Granted, Wyrick’s last two seasons couldn’t have gone any worse. But there were signals that the program was starting to come around after losing a huge chunk of its student body to the opening of a new school. But winning matters, and so Wyrick will take his credentials and character to another school in the county.
“Bill’s a great coach,” said his new boss Marc Morris on Thursday. “But we felt like we were hiring a great person, too, someone who can bring something to the kids.”
No doubt. Ask Marcus Pittman.