Feb 19, 2013
Wake County Public Schools has a new person to lead its athletics department.
Deran Coe, the athletic director at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, has been selected to replace Bobby Guthrie as the Director of Athletics for WCPSS.
"Following Bobby Guthrie is like following Dean Smith," Coe said on Tuesday afternoon. "He's been a tremendous asset for Wake County."
Coe has been the athletic director at Wake Forest-Rolesville for almost three years. He came to the school after a nine-year stretch at Franklinton High School where he served as the athletic director and soccer coach.
In 2001, Coe started the boys soccer program and Franklinton, then added the girls soccer program in 2002.
"I'm going to miss coaching, I'm going to miss the day-to-day interaction with the kids, but I feel there are some challenges I can help Wake County athletics with moving forward," he said.
Coe said one of the biggest challenges he wants to address is making sure coaches in Wake County have the resources and support they need.
"I think we are competing on a state level right now. We're bringing in multiple state championships, so the student-athletes are obviously prepared for competition," said Coe. "That comes from having good coaches and athletic directors in this county and we need to make sure they have what they need to succeed."
Wake County is North Carolina's largest school district, consisting of over 20 high schools that play varsity sports in three different conferences.
Coe said the ability for the schools to work together to solve issues is one of the district's biggest advantages.
Recently, a handful of Wake County schools have been in realignment battles, appealing to the N.C. High School Athletic Association to keep them in specific conferences with other Wake County schools.
In particular, Green Hope and Panther Creek High Schools were slated to join a conference with Durham County & Person County schools. After a series of appeals and much support from other Wake County schools, Green Hope and Panther Creek were allowed to remain in their current conference.
"The Wake County schools working together over realignment the last few years shows how we can work together . It's remarkable how well the athletic directors in this county do that," said Coe. "You would think with the competitive nature of coaches things might get competitive, but we share ideas."
While there are many things to focus on, Coe's main focus as the county athletic director will be the student-athletes.
"Our student-athletes have a higher graduation rate than our non-athletes, their attendance is better, and I think athletics is the best dropout prevention program there is," he said. "The ultimate goal isn't necessarily to get kids a college scholarship or to play at a higher level, it's to get them ready for life and athletics is a big part of that."
Coe's first day at Central Office will be Mar. 4, after Guthrie retires on Feb. 28, after 17 years as the Wake County athletic director.