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Dylan DeHart takes over the football team at King William and Andy Gray steps down at Gar-Field.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
Gar-Field is in the market for a new boys basketball coach in the wake of the departure of Vinton’s Andy Gray to spend more time with family.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Coaching changes in three sports have given some life to the slow summertime news period for high school athletics.
In football, the interim head coaching tag is off at King William for Radford High and Emory & Henry product Dylan DeHart.
Gar-Field is in the market for a new boys basketball coach in the wake of the departure of Vinton’s Andy Gray to spend more time with family . As for baseball, Pulaski County and Rockbridge County are among those looking for new coaches.
Shawn Abell left Rockbridge County to take a job on the baseball staff at Lynchburg College, his alma mater. Doug Dunavant’s coaching contract at Pulaski County was not renewed.
DeHart, 25, will be the third Cavaliers coach in six years, vigorous turnover that apparently has had little negative impact on results on the field. King William has been a Group A Division 2 state semifinalist the past three years. Two of those years, DeHart was an assistant coach there.
Having come from the Norman Lineburg coaching tree at Radford, DeHart claims no shortage of influences. Those start with father Jed and uncle Tony DeHart, both former Lineburg assistants.
“Some of my earliest memories are of going to Virginia Tech games with my father and uncle,” Dylan DeHart told the Tidewater Review.
Gray, a William Byrd graduate who played collegiately at Hampden-Sydney, was mentored along the line by former Tigers coach Tony Shaver, now at William and Mary, and retired William Fleming coach Burrall Paye. Gray worked on Paye’s staff at Fleming for five years before being hired at Gar-Field.
“Working for Burrall Paye was one of the biggest blessings of my life for all I was able to learn from him,” said Gray, who was in coaching for 26 years.
At 2,499 students, Gar-Field is one of the largest secondary schools in the state. The Indians went 343-143 during the Gray regime. That run included six Cardinal District championships, three Northwest Region crowns and five Group AAA state tournaments. The Prince William County school was state runner-up in 2001.
The aim for Gray is to spend more time with his two sons. Jacob is a rising Gar-Field senior and tennis team member. Rising freshman Preston plays baseball.
“Maybe I can get back into coaching later,” Andy Gray said. “For now, I need to be devoting that time to my family.”
At Pulaski County and Rockbridge County, the baseball search continues. There is no particular deadline to make a hire for the Cougars, the top priority being getting the right guy for the job, Pulaski County athletic director Mark Hanks said.
Rockbridge County would like to be able to send a recommendation for a new coach to the school board by its August meeting, according to assistant principal Rick Lollis.
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