Ray Gutierrez was only at Hiwassee Dam for four years.
But it was four of the best years in the girls basketball program’s history.
His teams ruled the Little Smoky Mountain Conference and won 103 combined games. Gutierrez was named the Citizen-Times All-WNC Coach of the Year over the weekend on the heels of a 30-2 season.
Gutierrez has confirmed that he is switching schools in Cherokee County. The 1999 Murphy graduate is going back to his alma mater to become athletic director as well as coach of the boys and girls basketball teams.
For the foreseeable future, it’s a big workload. Gutierrez said he is hopeful that eventually as A.D. he will be able to hire someone to head up one of the basketball teams, while he takes the other.
“I’m going to miss Hiwassee Dam. That community was so good to me,” Gutierrez said.
“And it’s a tough time to leave because I honestly feel like they are capable of winning 30 games next season, too. Hopefully we can get the same support at Murphy. My wife and I graduated from there, and going back is important and it’s special.”
This week will be Gutierrez’s final one at Hiwassee Dam.