New challenge for new football coach at Grimsley High School

Posted by Andy Durham on June 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm under High School | 19 Comments to Read

Damon Coiro was named the new head football coach at Grimsley High School on Tuesday.

Coach Coiro will face many challenges as the new head man for the Whirlies and the challenges are no different, than what anybody else who took over would have faced and since Coach Coiro has been at Grimsley, over the past year as an assistant football coach and as the head wrestling coach, why not him?????

He knows the personel, he knows the landscape and he knows what lies in front of him, in the very tough Metro 4-A Conference, with Dudley, Page, Western Guilford, Smith and Southeast Guilford, being the potential favorites…..

Dudley will be solid, Page has a great returning QB and two highly regarded RB’s to go with him, Western Guilford has an offensive line, that would make any high school coach smile, Smith is the team on the rise, with almost the entire starting team returning from last season and SEG will always be there for the battle with Coach Fritz Hesenthaler….

This will be a challenge, but Coiro has roots that can be traced back to The Citadel and if you have been there, then you can deal with the heat and the emotion, that are associated with disciplined football…

Coach Coiro will have to work quickly to stabilize the program and then work at a steady pace, to put all the pieces of the puzzle in place. I don’t think you can put the pieces of the puzzle back in place, since the puzzle pieces have not fit in the past three years….

Coach Coiro has shown he has the energy level, while coaching the Whirlies’ wrestling team and he will have to be able to maintain that level of energy, now that the football program is under his stead and watchful eye….One of the keys is you have to live there, live at the school from August 1, until the playoffs are over and that is a must, no matter if your team is Numero Uno, or the team that has to catch up….Day-in, day- out, you have to maintain a dwelling so to speak, at the school and you have to want to be there, so positive energy and signs of improvement, will be drivers that make that stay, worthwhile…..You have to want to be there and if the team is slumping, or if the classroom is spinning out of control, you still have to want to be there and the football field becomes your refuge and your solace in a time of need…

Coach Coiro played at Greensboro Collge, so he knows about the community and he will have to embrace the Whirlie Community and they will have to constantly embrace him, even when the chips are down and the darkness sets in at the end of October….

Football is a game and a lifestyle of seasons and you have to be a man of all seasons to love it and live it….

Summertime, when you are doing the off-season workouts and drills, August 1, which in the world of high school football, is the most sacared day of the year and the first-ever August 1, for a first-year coach, or a first-year player, is the most important day of their life….If you were around the game, each year on August 1, you stop and reflect on that first day of real practice each year and wonder was it worth it all, and could you have been doing something different….

Chances are, you will tell yourself that you gave it all and that you were used up, by the time you hit the lockerroom, on August 1 each year….

The first regular season game each year also stands for a moment in time and when you are a senior, this is biggset game of your career…..Have you arrived, can you compete with the best, do you have your position and your assignments down????? Will you be able to break through that paper banner, that they have you run through, before the first home game and others…

Later on, you have the first conference game, the Homecoming, the Conference title game, if it all comes down to that and then the last game of the regular season, or that last playoff game that we spoke of earlier…..

This is your life and Coach Coiro has given his life, to this calling and so have many other coaches in our area…..

“Am I good enough”, many coaches will ask??????

You are only as good as the horse that brung you and in layman’s terms, that means you have to have some horses, to be successful…..

Does Grimsley have the horses? If not, they better find some….They used to have them, and at that time the problem was, how do we use them?????

Jim Grobe has made a winner out of Wake Forest….Steve Spurrier had Duke in a bowl game….Dick Kemp made a winner out of Southeast Guilford, back when the Falcons used to trip over the 50-yard line, Tommy Norwood turned SEG into winners again, but it took him a few years and a long losing streak of at least a year and a-half, but he did it….When Tommy Pursley came to Northeast Guilford, they hadn’t made the playoffs in around 10 years and he has placed the Rams in the playoffs now, for something like 15 straight years….Page was way down until Coach Gillespie came in and righted the Pirates’ ship, just look at the Smith Golden Eagles, as your most recent example. They had lost something like 30 games in a-row, ’till Coach Rodney Brewinton started working his magic and got them back in the winner’s circle and into the playoffs last season….

Grimsley won three games last season and they went (3-3) in the conference and Coach Coiro was right in the middle of it…..

Grimsley will need to find some skilled athletes and how they position their coachnig staff will be crucial….

Not to dig up old days from the past too much, but when Coach Shuping was at Grimsley and they had success(Made it to the State Championship game in Raleigh), the thing that Coach Shuping had going, was he could let his assistant coaches lead the practice and he could walk around throughout the practice session and check on everybody…..He could let those assistants coach and he could be the head coach.

Not sure if that philosophy will work your very first year, but it would be nice to reach that level…..These days, it is hard to keep your assitants together, as a coaching staff, for any length of time….That old Page Pirate staff with Coach Kirby speaks volumes and Coach Kemp had the same deal working in Jamestown for many moons, just like Coach Norwood does now, with the Ragsdale Tigers and Coach Pursley has done it the same way at NEG, Coach Davis at Dudley, with Coach Mac and his staff, speaks continuity and Coach Gillespie at Page has been working with the same system and coaches since he took over….

Coach Coiro has grabbed the reins and he needs some horses and some cowboys to help him round up the troops….Those horses would be the players and the cowboys, the coaches…..

I am not the football master, but even Ronald McDonald knows you have to cut down on the turnovers…..(Maybe for Ronnie Mac, it is sell more turnovers and ice cream cones…)

The big picture says and it is easy to see, “you have to cut down on the turnovers”….Coaching turnover, Player turnonver, Football turnover….You have to keep the same coaches on a regular basis for a certain timeframe, your players have to stay in the program for four years, or you don’t even have a program and come Friday night, you can’t give the ball away…..The team with fewest turnovers will win….Coaches, players and footballs….The winning coaches have told us this for many years….

The job can be done and the mission accomplished, but it will take 16-plus hours a day to make this happen,(with players that are committed), but I think Coach Coiro was aware of that before he jumped in this whirlwind, called the Grimsley Whirlies…..


  • YoutheMan said,

    Congratulations to Coach Coiro. He is a quality individual and the kids love him. I saw him at numerous Grimsley sporting events last year supporting every aspect of Whirlie athletics. It is evident that he enjoys interacting with the students and is a true teacher at heart.

    There may have been other candidates with more extensive resumes but this is a good fit for the program which is in a rebuilding mode. There is not anyone else that will be more dedicated to the position.

  • whirlie fan said,

    They need to bring back to grimsley program is Coach Anderson and Coach Saunders. Grimsley football and wrestling program was good when they was there.

  • go whirlie said,

    Grimsley need to bring Coach Saunders and Coach Anderson back.When they was there the football and wrestling program was good.

  • Greensboro Sr High School said,

    Stood over by the tennis courts last nite at the Whirlie Summer Workouts, and honestly there was a different kind of feel in the air. Kids in neutral colors, and practice jerseys, seemed to have an agenda for why they were at practice. They hopped around, chanted in sequence, and clapped on command. Is this the real deal, or just a honeymoon phase?

    As a parent, I have come in contact with Coach Coiro over the past year, and can tell you he has the kids. He has had them since day one. He is a true teacher of the game as it relates to life, maybe something that has lacked at Grimsley over the past few years.

    I was so pleased with the organization of the parents meeting on Tuesday night, and the support that the Grimsley community showed. About 100 or so people were in the building, with the cheerleaders present to welcome the fans.

    You talk in the article above about the cowboys needed to help coach the Whirlies, and I can assure you after listening to the introductions, The Whirlies will be fully equipped. Extensive resumes with schools such as Nebraska, NC A & T, Hampton, The Citadel, Greensboro College, Hargrave Military Academy, Vandy, LSU, Washington University of St. Louis, Colorado College, Smith, and Dudley…This sounds like it could be the staff…

    As long as I see things like I did Tuesday and Wednesday Nite…You’ve got my support…

  • HS football fan said,

    Any word on the possible coaching changes out at Northern? I agree with your statement keeping Asst. Coaches and 4 year players is a must to build a winning tradition. YOU CAN NOT HAVE TURNOVERS!!!!

  • Andy said,

    Several posters have mentioned comments about bringing back previous coaches…..You can’t go that way, you have to move forward and this is Coach Coiro’s program now and digging up the past is looking backwards and you must turn new ground and move forward….

    Former coaches have their way of doing things and the new coach will have his way donig things and their methods would not mesh…..

    It is time to move ahead…..Good men in the past, but this is a new day…..

  • Get Real said,

    Andy I know you are not going to show this on Your site but I have to tell the truth. I wish you would and stop trying to post only the stuff You think is the truth. But that is another story! I am a parent and I have been around the Grimsley program for the last 6 years. I hope and think that Coach Coiro will be a good fit for Grimsley as I know that Coach Corbett is for the basketball program. But lets talk about truth, please don’t think for one second that Coach Shuping was a good coach at Grimsley. He did nothing but hire good asst coaches which I think Newman may take credit for that. He only cheated our Kids in the classroom because he had no guidelines in that area, which if you check the record it would show that. He left becasue we had several player that were not eligible to play that next year. He had good asst coaches who had an idea and a history of running an offence and defence the correct way and we had some True horses on those teams. Those horses came thru the Lewis Rec center not Shuping, so I know what I am taking about. So do us all a favor and tell the truth with your comments since you want allow anyone else to tell theirs with the way You edit our commets. But I dont think you care about what the parents think anyway. Thank you!

  • Andy said,

    Interesting comment, but aren’t we trying to put the past behind us and move forward with these programs?????

    Here we are, trying to drive home the positives and you want to go negative….That won’t help your program at all.

    I still say Shuping was a very good coach and I can only speak for the football field, I am not privy to what goes on in the classroom currently in the Guilford County Schools….

    We may be void in our duties here, but we deal mainly with the athletic end and not as much with the academics….

    I was a classroom teacher myself for several years and also coached three sports and many times, as many as five sports per year, when you count the JV teams….

    I have been there where many of these coaches and teachers are and it is not easy. Coming home after a basketball road trip on Tuesday night and then back to the classroom the next day at 8am, these coaches and teachers bust their butts and if they can get by, without busting their butts, they are pretty slick…

    I never saw anyone that could teach, coach and still have time to relax….

    The education business and the coaching business are very tough and I probaby know as much, if not more than many that post on this site…

    I have been there seen it and still see it from the game and field standpoint today….There are only a handful of the teachers that are going 100% in the classroom and on the field/ in the gym…It is just not possible to do it if you are full-time academic and full-time coaching….

    Coach Corbett at Grimsley, in basketball and in the classroom with English, I think it is, is one of the few exceptions that can pull this off and I think that his results are in part, a result of his upbringing from his mom and dad…

    Very few people have been where I have been academically and educationaly…

    I graded the term papers, graded the tests, averaged the grades and was able to make it to the end of the year and a few of the students went on to become doctors and teachers….

    Why do you think so many people come by this site….

    This entire web site/blog is where people come to learn…This site is an extension of the education system….

    I hate it when I have to go on these rants, but it doesn’t it do the students any good to start telling the teacher(me) how to do his business….

    Not a problem at all really, you just need to know the level of learning that we are dealing with here…Readers will keep coming back here, because they want to learn and you want to hinder the Educational System?????

    Not on my watch….I will keep on spreading the word….

  • fbfan said,

    Andy a good coach looks after his players on the field, off the field, AND IN THE CLASSROOM, if Shuping was letting his kids fail in the classroom he was a failure, Andy maybe you need to learn more about the academics in Guilford if you are going to praise these coaches who are not looking after the kids.

  • Andy said,

    If the coach didn’t fail the kids in his class then they didn’t fail in his classroom.

    The other teachers at these schools need to be held accountable too.

    The coach can’t do the work for the kids…..

    Many times the coaches get the blame and they are not responsible…..

    Why don’t some of the classroom teachers step up and help the kids they are failing…

    So much of this is old water and you can’t go back and change it now….

    There’s a new coach, a new challenge and we need to all head in that new direction….We will not settle anything fighting about this on here….

    It must get done on the field and I will continue to suuport the kids and the coaches….

    When the day is done, the classroom teachers can head home, but the coaches are still teaching and coaching till way past dark…..

    Support your new coach and his kids and you will be OK. I’ll be here to help everyone break it all down, but remember I can only do so much, the rest of you have to do some work too….

  • grimsley fan said,

    Coach Shuping let his coaches coach.Coach Saunders ran the offense and Coach Anderson ran the defense.And Coach Shuping did the organization part.

  • Andy said,

    There was some question about Coach Shuping’s staff….They were still there after he left with Coach Saunders as head coach and Coach Anderson leading the defense…

    We really need to move on and start focusing on the new Grimsley Whirlie football program and try and give them all the support that we can…..

  • Joe Barile said,

    I think Grimsley’s football program will be down, until they get new administration.

    Bottom line is they don’t support the athletics program at Grimsley.

  • Grimsley fan said,

    Ihope the new coach do well.But he better watch out!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ron said,

    You can’t seriously think that a coach is supposed to do the classroom work for a kid also? If a kid fails that’s his problem not the coaches. If a kid can’t or won’t learn what is a coach to do. In society if you can’t do a job your behind get’s fired, that’s just the way it is. That’s why coaches are coaches and not Sylvan Learning Center Administrators. And to all those that are complaining about grades maybe you should try to teach these kids that don’t want to learn and we’ll see how you fair. It’s just like college. You have students and you have athletes. Let’s not confuse the two. Students go to class athletes don’t. They are there to bring the school money, and if they so happen to graduate, consider that a bonus. What about the kids that came through under Shuping that did the right thing and went to class and got money for college? Let’s talk about those kids. Those are the one’s that did the right thing. Here again if you would like to teach or tutor someone who school isn’t made for. Be my guest. Until then stop sitting on the sideline whining. “get in the game.”

  • Coaching Change said,

    Someone posted earlier in the blog about NG Coaches.
    NG has 4 Coaches who will not be on the staff this season.

    Coach Shields took the Head Coach at McMichael
    Coach Rigsby will coach will be Assist. Coach at McMichael
    Coach Shaffer will coach will be the Line Coach at McMichael
    Coach Morris will not coach at NG next year. HJe will still teach PE at NG

    All that and no Keenan Allen it could be a long year for the Nighthawks.

  • ViewFromtheBleachers said,

    NG exodus is all on JR. His days are numbered unless he starts making independent decisions about who he plays.

    Just my observation from the bleachers.

  • 1whoknows said,

    No one knows what happened at Grimsley, but the proof is in the pudding, 4 coaches in 5 years. Was there some back stabbing going on.

  • therealdeal said,

    Ii think Shuping was the only person with guts to do somthing nice for the school, getting it recognized in football, winning 3 conference championships and trying to get state, which the school hasent been able to do ever since the freaking 70’s