Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vance football coach resigns just before start of the season

Vance football coach Phil Culicerto resigned as the Cougars football coach today, telling his players after a morning practice at school.

Culicerto did not return calls from the Observer. He was entering his third season. Culicerto's 2010 team posted a school-best 11-4 record and made an appearance in the N.C. 4AA Western Regional championship game last December. That was a school first.

The Cougars, who begin the 2011 season next Friday (Aug. 19) at Berry, are No. 6 in the Observer's preseason Sweet 16.

Vance athletics director Glenn Blafield wouldn't elaborate on why Culicerto resigned, deferring those questions to the coach. Blafield said the school would move quickly to find a coach in time for the Berry game. He said Vance does not have an interim coach named.

"Everybody has to pull together," he said. "Everybody has to step up and do the right thing. The kids are great. It's not about the talent on the sidelines, but the talent on the field. That's what matters. We've got a good game plan for what practices will look like. Nothing has changed."

In an interview earlier this month, Culicerto said he was excited to work with this team, which features several players being recruited by major Division I colleges. He expected to challenge nationally ranked Mallard Creek for a conference championship. Vance upset Mallard Creek in the state quarterfinals last season.

Blafield, the athletics director, said Vance's goals are the same.

"It was one of those things," he said. "We'll move on. We'll recover. We'll survive. We always have. The coaching staff has pulled together well. They know each other and trust each other and the kids know what's going on. It's a matter of saying, 'OK, this was a bump in the road, but it's not going to take away how good those players are and what's going to happen this year.'"


Anonymous said...

Hey Langston, do you want to change your choice for #6?

By The Way, I expect Porter Ridge to be either 3rd, 4th, or 5th. If not, you can go slide over to and quit attempting to cover High School football.

Anonymous said...

This is horrible for the kids.

Anonymous said...

Let the AD take over the coaching. They probably only teach one or two classes at the most each semester.