Lovette steps down as Gray’s Creek football coach

By Earl Vaughan Jr.

After nearly 30 years as a teacher and coach, Gray’s Creek High School head football coach David Lovette has decided to take his career in a new direction.

Lovette, who has spent the last 15 seasons as coach at Gray’s Creek, announced earlier this week he is stepping down.

Lovette doesn’t plan to leave the profession, saying he hopes to move on to a new school where he will take on a position as an assistant coach so he can continue working while beginning to draw on his North Carolina retirement income.

“I’m still going to be coaching and teaching, just in a different place,’’ Lovette said.

In leaving Gray’s Creek, Lovette said the main thing for him will always be about the relationships he built with people, especially students and fellow coaches, even members of the media.

“You build a lot of relationships with a lot of people,’’ he said. “Hopefully you’ve had some good influence over people as time passes on.’’

If there is one negative on his mind as he leaves Gray’s Creek, it was the disappointment at the unfortunate way the Bears were knocked out of a state playoff berth in what became Lovette’s final season as football coach.

The Bears play in a split conference, the Patriot Athletic, which means there are schools of different size classifications in the league. Gray’s Creek is a 3-A school, and its league includes 4-A members South View, Pine Forest and Overhills.

The Bears defeated all of the 3-A schools in their conference that they played head-to-head, including conference state 3-A playoff qualifier Terry Sanford.

But the Bears lost to a pair of 4-A teams, Pine Forest and South View, finishing one game behind Terry Sanford in the league standings.

Lovette faced a similar situation years ago in another split conference and is no fan of that process.

“We were unbeaten against the teams we were vying against but because we lost tough games to 4-A schools we’re not in the playoffs,’’ Lovette said. “But it’s over and done with.’’

Lovette said as he leaves his position at Gray’s Creek he’ll miss a lot of people.

“I appreciate the support of the administrators and various principals I had over the years who gave me an opportunity to work,’’ he said, “and the different parents who trusted me, and the kids giving me 100 percent effort over the years.’’

Lovette leaves Gray’s Creek with  record of 100-77 there and an overall record of 138-107-1. He won three conference championships at Gray’s Creek and two more at earlier stops at Red Springs and St. Pauls, respectively.