From the Best Coaches/Top Coaches Ever:We spoke today with Frank Starling representing Coach Marion Kirby, from Page High School

Posted by Andy Durham on April 9, 2020 at 1:38 pm under College, High School | Comments are off for this article

We spoke with Coach Frank Starling today, he was the long-time assistant high school football coach along side Coach Marion Kirby, at Page High School and then again, he lined up beside Coach Kirby, when Kirby became the head football coach at Greensboro College…

Coach Kirby named as one of our Best/Top Coaches ever, by our readers this week…

Coach Kirby is currently in a nursing center, and Frank Starling graciously took the time the answer some of our questions that we had planned out, for Coach Kirby….

Some of the things we talked to Coach Starling about today….

1)How many kids did you have trying out for the team back in those days, during the 1970’s and the 80’s, back at Page High School?
Frank Starling:We had Open Tryouts…Anybody that tried out/came out, was on the team….We might have a ton of kids out there, but by the end of the second day of practice, those numbers would be dropping…When we started doing the hard running, many kids chose not to come back the next day…We would carry 40-45 players on the Varsity team, once we got the season rolling…

2)Who were the toughest teams from around Guilford County that you faced back in the 70’s and 80’s?
FS:We had great success against the teams from Greensboro…Smith beat us three times, but that was back when they had Vince Evans at QB, and the Bostic Brothers(Joe and Jeff) on the offensive line. After Smith beat us three times, they never beat us again. We defeated Dudley 23 out of 25 times…Grimsley only knocked us off one time…..

3)You had to choose between Todd Ellis and Stafford Moser back during that one stretch in the mid-80’s, how tough was that, going with one of them over the other, at starting quarterback?
FS:The first year we had them both at QB, we rotated them every other series at quarterback for the entire season…There was very little difference in the performance of the two, Ellis and Moser….The next season, our Top Receiver got injured, and we put Stafford Moser at WR, and it turned out to be a great move…Stafford Moser was an outstanding athlete and played that position well for us….It all worked out for the best for the Page Pirates…

4)How important was the Page football coaching staff and the fact that most of the coaches were able to be there together for many years/seasons? What was foundation of that staff?
FS:The core group of our coaching staff was lead by Coach Kirby, as the head coach, and then we had our core group of assistant coaches that included Frank Starling, Ken Page, Bill King and Clayton Nance….Ken Page and I were with Coach Kirby from Day One, all the way back in 1973…I(Coach Starling) was the coach at Allen Junior High School, for five years before I came to Page HS…I had never met Coach Kirby before in my life, and then I interviewed with him there in 1973, and that started a run of many years together for me and Coach Kirby, on the football fields here in Greensboro…

Coach Kirby was a college student and football player at Lenoir-Rhyne College, then he went to Edenton High School, came to Greenboro Page HS, then it was over to Greensboro College as the head football coach and then finally he finished out, as the Athletic Director, at Guilford College….

5)Was there ever a quiet place where the coaches could meet, and sort of sort out everything, away from the maddening crowd?
FS:We used to meet at the school(Page) on Sunday afternoon at 2pm and begin going over the film of the previous Friday night’s game, and then also start prepping for the next Friday night’s game.(Those Sunday afternoon meetings would often last 3-4 hours)…That was our routine for many years…

**********Bonus Question for Coach Frank Starling:**********
If you had to go back and do it all over again, would you do it the same way?
FS:With the success we had, due to the great kids and coaches, I don’t think we would want to change anything….


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