Huneycutt to retire after 32 years of service
Woody Huneycutt wheeled around in his office chair Tuesday, answering a cell phone in one hand and land line in the other hand.
After numerous times of similar interruptions, the Thomasville High School athletic director flopped the cell phone on his desk and said, “I am not going to miss this thing.”
His wait will only last a few more months, as the longtime teacher, coach and AD at THS will make his retirement official in either late June or early July. It will bring an end to 32 years of service, with the last 13 coming as athletic director.
“I have put in 32 years and I felt it was time to step back and let somebody a little younger take over,” Huneycutt said. “Thomasville has been great to me over the years since I began here as a freshman in 1971. It has been a great place for me and my family.”
A graduate of THS and High Point College, Huneycutt began his career as a ninth grade science teacher for one year, before moving on to physical education and a long, storied career of coaching. His early years were spent coaching JV girls basketball, middle school football and track. Huneycutt’s bigger achievements began in 1989 when he took over the varsity boys basketball program. What a career it would be.
He was highly successful, winning five state championships in 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007 with the help of assistant coach Lacardo Means. In conference play, his team at one point won 14 straight league titles.
“What was great about those five state championships is that we won them with different kids,” he said. “It was not like we had one group come through and win three in a row. A lot of good things have happened to me and I have been very fortunate and proud to be a part of it.”
In 2009 — two years after his final state championship — Huneycutt put down the whistle to focus on his duties as athletic director. His 21 years of success were spent with good company.
“You always have to look to the people that helped you,” said Huneycutt. “I had good help and I had good kids. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the heck out of it. There came a time to step away from that and now the time has come to step away from being AD.”
During his tenure as athletic director, the school has accumulated 13 state championships. A combined eight in boys and girls basketball, four more in football and one in soccer. But no matter the amount of championships won, Huneycutt has great appreciation for all of the coaches who have served during his time.
“I am proud to be called a coach and proud to be associated with coaching,” said Huneycutt. “A lot of people don’t realize what coaches have to do. It is a tough job and in some of the sports you do not get a lot of recognition. You just do it because you love the kids and what you are doing. You are trying to make the kids better not only athletically, but as people.”
A fixture at sporting events most nights of the week, Huneycutt plans on continuing to attend after his retirement, only with a more flexible schedule. Instead of showing up two hours before a contest and staying until the very end to lock up, he can come and go as he pleases without a single worry.
“I am going to be in Thomasville and will be around to help if they need it,” he said. “I am going to do some work around my house and enjoy it. It will be nice to just walk in at game time and leave when I want.”
And with one less phone to answer, there will be plenty of time to reflect on what has been a rewarding career.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.