Barry Shuford has resigned as football coach at East Mecklenburg High School. Shuford told the Observer he plans to retire.
Shuford notified East Mecklenburg athletics director Ec Little Thursday night of his plans.
“I have a couple of opportunities inside and outside of North Carolina that I hope work out,” said Shuford, 55. “I’m going to work another 10 years. I’m going to coach and do something until I’m 65 or 70. I still enjoy it.”
Shuford said a big part of his decision was financially driven. He said as a teacher he had not been given a raise for eight years, and due to a statewide change in a policy, a supplement long-term teachers used to receive was taken away, effectively cutting his salary for the past few years.
East Mecklenburg has advertised Shuford’s football position and hopes to begin interviewing after spring break in April.
“We want to have someone in as soon as we can find the best person to fit the position,” Little said.
Shuford, who started working as a teacher in 1987, has been at East Mecklenburg for four seasons. His accepted his first head-coaching job at Bessemer City in 1989. He’s also been head coach at the following high schools: Olympic, Monroe Parkwood, Butler and Garinger.
“I think I’m most proud of all the kids that still come back,” he said. “I can’t remember all their names, but I feel I’ve helped them in some way. They remember everything we’ve done. I coached a lot of kids, man. Some were successful right off and some are successful now that struggled for years.
“You touch a lot of people’s lives. Football-wise, I’ve won some games and lost games, but it’s about the kids everywhere I’ve been.”