Asheville School football’s worst start in six years has prompted a rare mid-season coaching change.
Roger Harris said Wednesday that the choice to resign was not forced upon him.
Harris had an 11-14 record with at least four games left in his third year. But the Blues are 0-5 heading into Friday’s matchup at Charlotte Hickory Grove (4-1).
“It was just time,” Harris said.
“You know how the season had gone. I love the school and I love the kids. If someone else can get it going the right way, that’s what needs to happen. Asheville School is a great place with a great faculty, great staff and great kids. I want what’s best for them. It’s just time to see if someone else can do better than me.”
The Blues announced in a statement that assistant Gus Schill has been promoted to head coach, effective immediately.
“We wish Roger the best possible luck in all future pursuits,” head of school Arch Montgomery said.
Harris’ best season at Asheville School was his first. That 2011 team went 9-3 and reached the NCISAA Division II championship game, marking the deepest football playoff run in school history. The Blues also beat rival Christ School that fall, marking their first win in Western North Carolina’s oldest rivalry in five years.
Prior to his time as head coach, Harris was an assistant at Asheville School for two years.
Harris was also the Blues’ varsity baseball coach and said he has resigned from that position as well.
USA TODAY: Gentry is top NC coach
Murphy’s David Gentry has advanced to the next stage of USA TODAY’s competition to find the best high school football coach in the United States.
Gentry beat out seven other North Carolina coaches to be named the state’s top coach with 38,057 online votes. Plymouth’s Robert Cody came in second (29,390 votes).
Gentry has now advanced to a regional competition which began Wednesday and runs through Oct. 18 at noon. The link to vote is (http://contest.usatodayhss.com/vote/bestcoach2013/r3).
Gentry is the winningest coach in WNC history (338 career victories) with five state championships.
Henderson linemen to play in all-star game
Two linemen from Henderson County have been invited to the National Underclassmen Combine All-American football game on Dec. 30 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Christ School junior Walker Lanning leads the Greenies in tackles (11.0 per game) and was an All-Western North Carolina Athletic Conference selection in 2012. Lanning is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound prospect who has scholarship offers from Youngstown State and Albany.
One of his former teammates at East Henderson, Nathan Dalton has also been selected for the December NUC game. He is a 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior.
ACA soccer wins conference championship
Tuesday could have been an emotional letdown for the state-ranked Asheville Christian Academy boys soccer team.
But the Lions would not allow it, not with everything that was at stake.
Max Hill, Max Gompers and Coleman Compton scored goals in a 3-1 win over visiting Shannon Forest (S.C.) to clinch the Carolinas Athletic Association championship.
Kelby Hilgeman dished out all three assists for ACA (11-3-4, 6-1-3). Goalkeeper Logan Collie made three saves.
The game in Swannanoa was tied 1-1 at halftime.
The Lions set up Tuesday’s opportunity at a CAA championship by outshooting state-ranked Christ School, 13-4, in Friday’s 4-0 win, also at home.
ACA is sixth in the latest NCISAA 2-A rankings, while Christ School is 14th in 3-A.