After 20 years at Northeast Guilford and 35 years overall in teaching/coaching, Tommy Pursley will retire December 30

Posted by Andy Durham on November 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm under High School | 9 Comments to Read

After twenty years of coaching and teaching service at Northeast Guilford and 35 years overall in coaching and teaching, Northeast Guilford Rams’ head football coach Tommy Pursley will retire on December 30…

Coach Pursley told his team today and one of our posters had left this news with us earlier this evening and I just got off of the phone with Coach Pursley and he will step down from coaching and teaching on December 30 and in effect he will be retired from the North Carolina school system….

For Coach Pursley, he put in 35 years of coaching and teaching, with 20 of those spent at the helm of the Northeast Guilford Rams’ football team and he won right at 180 games in the 20 years he spent coaching football at NEG…That averages out to 9 wins a season over the 20-year span and his Ram teams never missed the playoffs and only two other teams in the state of North Carolina have matched that record in the 20-year time frame and that has been the Thomasville Bulldogs and the Dark Horses of Clinton…

NEG won 7 conference titles under Coach Pursley’s leadership, 6 district titles and 2 Regional Titles….NEG won the East Regional in 1997 and faced Kannapolis in the State 3-A Championship and Northeast claimed the East Region again in 2003 and met South Point that year for the 3-A Title..

The revealing part of the overall equation is that Northeast never missed the playoffs in the 20 years that Coach Pursley was in charge of the football program…The year before Coach Pursley came in, the NEG Varsity went (1-9( and the JV’s were (0-10) and the year that Coach Pursley took over(1993), the NEG Varsity finished (6-4) and the JV’s went (10-0)…

The Northeast Guilford JV’s won the Conference Championship 16 of 20 years that Coach Pursley and staff worked with them….Numbers show that the NEG JV’s lost right at just 10 games, in that 20-year span….(1993-2012)

Coach Pursley said this was not a spur of the moment decision and it did not reflect on anything that happened this season..Coach Pursley came to the conclusion that it was time to step away from the coaching and teaching in the Sring of 2012…He knew then, that it was time to make a move….

Coach Tommy Pursley will quickly become handyman Tommy Pursley and he will go to work on some of those home improvement tasks that he has been meaning to get to, for several months/years….Time to fix up the outside of his house and smell the morning air from a different vantage point, maybe while up on top of a ladder, with a bucket of paint….

A true class act who put in the time and effort/hard work and the results are evident from the time he spent at Northeast Guilford High School, out on Hicone Road, just off of Highway 29 North….

Never a losing season, never missed the playoffs, averaging 9 wins a season for 20 years, two appearances in the State 3-A Title Game and a long list of players and asssitant coaches, that hepled him put Northeast Guilford on the NCHSAA football map….

Excellent job Coach Pursley and enjoy your time off….Maybe we’ll see you coaching again some day…..

A few players that we remember from Coach Pursley days at NEG and this is just a few and there are many, many more…

Carlos McNeil
Michael Sanders
Michael Via
Matt Deese
Brock Pursley
Nathan Cockman
Jacob McCann
Caleb McCann
Tyronne Hamer
Brandon Apple
NEG assistant baseball Coach Sugg
Evan Reasor….

Sanders may be the best linebacker that I have seen there, Michael Via the top lineman and Matt Deese the top back….Just some thought and Jacob McCann ranks right in there as the RB/LB combo…He was a real good one….Remembered Carlos McNeil last night and he too would have to rank up there with those outstanding NEG Ram RB’s…Maybe Deese as the big back and McNeil as the speed back….Both backs were part of State Championship runs…

Plenty of coaches and a few I remember seeing on a regular basis at NEG include Coach Richard Sisk, Coach Angell(Maybe Gary) and in recent years Coach Via…

****Coach Pursley was also the head coach at Trinity High School before taking over the NEG Rams program…*****


  • Coach Blue said,

    Great run of 20 years by Coach Tommy Pursley.
    The community,school and athletic program will miss you.
    Outstanding job! Also great job by your defensive coordinator Gary Angel!

  • So long, thank you said,

    He mentioned this this past summer. Said he thought it would be his last. Great coach. Great mentor. Made kids better men.

  • Great Coach said,

    Congrats Coach Pursley on an amazing career at NE Guilford you will be missed! Enjoy retirement!!!!

    Who are some of the top candidates for the Head Coaching job at NE Guilford???????????

  • 77 Hornet said,

    What about Via?

  • tripleoption2006 said,

    Andy, you have no idea of the great players at Northeast High. I coached the running backs and I can tell you we had some of the best:

    TERRELL TIMMONS
    MELVIN SHAW
    *DEVON CHAPMAN (EATS LIGHTNING. CRAPS THUNDER)
    *BRANDON SILER (EATS THUNDER CRAPS LIGHTNING)
    WILLIAM WADDELL
    CHRIS STEPHENS
    ANTOINE KING
    IVAN MCLEAN
    TYLER WOODS

    DAVID HICKMAN
    LAMONT BYNUM (BEST ATHLETIC LB WE HAD)
    EUGENE LOCKETT
    JOHN PATTERSON (ALL-STATE LB)
    KENDALL BRATCHER
    JAMES TUCKER

    Andy, we had a great program at NEHS. Tommy did so much with that program. I was witness to that. he was like Eisenhower during WW II. he put together the best coaching staff he could find with different personalities and was able to mange us and get the most of out of us. I learned so much about football from him. We sat down one day in 200 and we talked about triple Option, and how to block it against different defenses, and I have to tell you I learned more about football in two hours than in all the precious years playing football in High School as a QB at Farmville Central High.

    COACHING CHAPMAN AND SILER WAS LIKE COACHING TWO RACE HORSES MAN O WAR, AND SEATTLE SLEW. OUR MOTTO WAS THAT THE TRIPLE OPTION WAS NOT 3 YARDS A CLOUD OF DUST, BUT 60 YARDS AND A PUFF OF SMOKE.

    TOMMY MADE ALL THAT POSSIBLE. THOSE PLAYERS ARE NOW PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY, NOT BECAUSE TOMMY HELPED THEM BECOME GOOD PLAYERS, BUT HE ALWAYS TAUGHT THEM THAT CHARACTER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

    I COUNT TOMMY. LISA, AND BROCK AS MY CLOSEST FRIENDS. HE WILL BE MISSED.

    PS…IF THERE WAS EVER AN ANDY GRIFFITH JEOPARDY CONTEST, OUR STAFF WOULD BEAT ANY OTHER STAFF IN THE COUNTY…PERIOD.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Good call on the all the NEG Ram players…..Sometimes I am blown away by some of the names that we forget and this is one of those times…

    I think David Hickman was the young man that died while serving our country in the military and I think that happened just about one year ago….

    Again, great to see all of those names and many of them come to memory, Terrell Timmons, Eugene Lockett, Tyler Woods….If I remember correctly, Woods was a little back, but he ran with speed and power…

    Great list and let’s keep the names and memories coming….

  • Dr.Vinnyboombatz said,

    This is what I was alluding to Monday.
    I did not want to post until Coach had a chance to tell the players.
    BTW–still hearing off and on rumors about Rosco.

  • its true said,

    What rumors??? His house has a for sale sign (really I’m not kidding). He will be out either when they lose or he doesn’t have TJ Logan (or any other D1 Players)

  • Andy Durham said,

    Most all of the coaches are on a year-to-year contract and who wouldn’t want to go out a winner??? Northern has that kid C.J. Freeman, who is just a freshman and that kid is gonna carry the ball and the mail in the future at NG and he had 12 TD’s in his last two JV games and he ran for 80 yards and one TD last week in just one quarter of work last Friday night with the varsity…He is off and running and starting out the same way T.J.Logan did and it will be interesting to track him in the future….