Just one day into the 2016-17 high school basketball season, East Lincoln boys basketball coach Neil Hodges has decided to retire.
“I have enjoyed my time at East Lincoln High School,” Hodges said. “Great school, great program, and outstanding parents and kids. I will always be a Mustang. The only thing that a coach would like to say when he leaves is am I leaving the situation better than I found it. The future at (East Lincoln) is good.”
Hodges coached the Mustangs for 15 seasons and led to the N.C. 2A state championship game in 2015 and 2016, the first appearances in the state final in school history. Hodges is the school’s all-time leader in wins, with a career record of 283-129. His teams won five conference championships, four conference tournament championships, four sectional titles and two regional championships.
Hodges’ teams qualified for the playoffs in 12 of his 15 seasons.
East Lincoln associate head coach Chip Ashley will be interim coach this season. Ashley coached the Mustangs girls team from 1988-92 and the varsity boys from 1990-96.
Ashley has been a boys basketball assistant since the 1997-98 season.