Mooresville's Marsh ends 32-year career as teacher, coach
Friday, Jun. 20, 2014

Mooresville's Marsh ends 32-year career as teacher, coach

Mooresville High School athletics director stands in front of one of two trophy cases in the lobby of the school's gymnasium. Marsh is retiring at the end of the month after 32 years as a teacher and coach, 29 of those spent at Mooresville.

Barclay Marsh will have to come up with a different routine once the 2013-2014 school year comes to an end.

That’s when Marsh’s retirement becomes official, ending nearly three decades spent as a teacher and coach at Mooresville High School.

Marsh, whose last day is June 30, decided last month to call an end to his 32-year career in education, all but three years of that spent at Mooresville High or Mooresville Middle School.

“When you’ve been in it as long as I have, you get to a point where you’re weighing your options and see what’s best for you and your family,” Marsh, 55, said. “In discussing this with my wife (Debbie Marsh, principal at South Elementary), we felt that this was probably the best time.

“I can’t just sit around, though. I’ll find something to do. I don’t know what it’ll be.”

Marsh spent the first three years of his teaching career at Newton-Conover High School, then made the move to Mooresville in 1985 for a split assignment between the high school and middle school.

Over the years, Marsh has coached wrestling and baseball at Mooresville Middle, and was head coach of Mooresville High’s track team while also serving as an assistant football coach under Steve Young for four seasons and Mike Carter for 14 seasons.

In 2003, Marsh took over as both the Blue Devils’ head football coach and the school’s athletics director. He spent six seasons leading the football program, compiling a 40-34 record, before stepping down after the 2008 season to concentrate on teaching physical education and his duties as AD.

“Thirty-two years – that’s a long time,” Marsh said. “I’ve been at Mooresville High School over half my life.”

And during that time, Marsh has seen how much the school has grown.

When Marsh first began teaching at Mooresville High in the fall of 1985, the school had a student body just over 400 and a senior class of 145 students. This spring’s MHS graduating class was just over 350 students from a student body of nearly 1,700 students.

“For the first 10 years, I commuted here from Newton,” Marsh said. “I came down (N.C.) 150, and there was the boat place at Williamson Road and Nelson Royal’s place – that was the only thing on 150. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this place would get this big.”

Yet Marsh said there would be plenty to remember from all those years, and all those students.

“There’s so many memories, in this gym, in the ball fields, everywhere,” Marsh said. “I told the people at the last faculty meeting that there were more people on our faculty that I taught that are now teachers than there was on the whole faculty when I first came here.

“This is also where I raised my family. Heck, I told someone if I had a dollar for every meal my family ate at this table (the conference table in MHS’ athletics office) just to spend some time together … it’s just been a part of our life.”

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bill? Email him at

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