Lingerfelt steps down as East football coach

Longtime assistant Vance Hanner to take over
Mar. 14, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

Bryan Lingerfelt loves his football family at East Davidson High School. He loves his sons even more.
His oldest son Brett will be a rising freshman at West Davidson and likely will play on Thursdays for the junior varsity football team. Needing a more flexible schedule to make time for his family, the coach of the Golden Eagles for the last 11 years has decided to step down.
“That’s probably the biggest reason why as far as me stepping down,” said Lingerfelt.
The other reason was sitting right beside him. His assistant coach for all of those 11 years, Vance Hanner. Principal Billy Hunt announced Wednesday Hanner will be the next coach of the Eagles.
“Coach Hanner will do an excellent job,” said Hunt. “He has earned his stripes and has worked under coach Lingerfelt. He is ready for the challenge. I have full confidence in him.
“It saddens me as a principal that coach Lingerfelt won’t be coaching anymore. I wish my son played for Bryan Lingerfelt.”
Hanner was a lineman at East Davidson and graduated in 1997. He played for coach Eddie Williamson and Lingerfelt, who was the defensive coordinator at the time. He returned to his alma mater 11 years ago and asked Lingerfelt if he needed any help on his coaching staff. Hanner was brought on board and will now replace the man for whom he has great admiration.
“I am excited with this being my home school,” Hanner said. “I appreciate Mr. Hunt, coach Lingerfelt and Ms. [Kim] Warrick for thinking enough of me to allow me this opportunity. It is humbling and is a lot of responsibility. But I think I can do it.”
Lingerfelt has full faith in him.
“He is a tremendous football coach. I see potential in him as a football coach and I have got to be able to step aside and let him flourish as a football coach. This is a great opportunity for him and he is a tremendous talent. He will work very hard for them and cares about the kids.”
East’s had its ups and downs under the direction of Lingerfelt, who had his best season in 2007 when the Golden Eagles won a share of the Central Carolina Conference crown. The timing could not be better for Hanner to take over. Instead of working with a lot of brand new faces in his first season, he will have 19 returning seniors who know the system. The biggest change for Hanner will be his role. He will now coach the offense, leaving his defensive coordinator duties to another former player of Lingerfelt’s, Ryan McClamrock.
Principal Hunt understands more than anyone the decision that Lingerfelt made. A former coach himself at Lexington and with kids of his own, he realizes how fast life can pass by and how important it is not to miss out on making memories with family. 
“He will not ever get to watch his son play again, so he needs to take advantage of watching him play,” Hunt said. “It is a hard decision to make because he loves his kids here, but he will never get to watch his kids play again. There will always be kids coming through East Davidson, but his kids will grow up and be out of the house before he knows it.”
Lingerfelt will continue his duties as co-athletic director and could potentially remain on the sideline as an assistant.

Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or kepley@tvilletimes.com.