Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ruark: Leaving Myers Park football "tough to do"

Jim Ruark said leaving Myers Park High was one of the toughtest things he’s had to do.

Ruark, 43, is the new head football coach at East Burke. East Burke is in Icard, N.C., about an hour’s drive west of Charlotte. East Burke is a 2A school with 1,007 students.

Myers Park is a 4A school. It is the state’s largest high school with 2,988 students.

“East Burke is a smaller school,” Ruark said, “and it’s great opportunity to get into a smaller community, and really for family reasons we’re moving that way. I made the decision last Thursday. It’s very hard to leave Myers Park. I’ve been here seven years and I love these kids. The hardest part is leaving the kids, but sometimes you have to do what you think is right for your family and that’s what we’re doing.”

Ruark was an assistant coach at Burns for seven season and was 12-12 in two years as East Lincoln’s head coach from 2001-02. He was 39-47 at Myers Park. His 2005 team, which finished 9-6, reached the N.C. 4AA semifinals.

He’ll be the seventh coach at East Burke, replacing Mike Biggerstaff who was 59-37 in eight seasons, including 8-4 in 2009. Biggerstaff has retired.

Ruark starts his new job Feb. 22.

“We appreciate the honor and diginity with which (Ruark) ran our football program,” Myers Park athletics director Greg Clewis said, “and we wish him and his family nothing but the best. I know he’s excited about the new opporunity.”

Clewis said Myers Park will accept resumes for the opening until Feb. 12 with a target date of March 1 for hiring a new coach.


Anonymous said...

I hope the search for the next coach includes candidates who are concerned about instilling good values. Coach Ruark saw the bigger picture. It's a shame to lose him.

Anonymous said...

I was a senior on his 2005 team that made it to the 4AA Semifinals. Coach Ruark is focused on winning games, but more so in creating men who strive for excellence every day, in everything they do. Another sticking point for Ruark is learning to face adversity head-on and with urgency. On Ruarks field, you will face great adversity daily, again and again, but if your team can meet each challenge with a full heart the rewards are pretty unbelievable.

I can attest to the power of this coaching style. To this day, I hold myself to the values. Every kid should be given this chance.