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Roark resigns, Day named interim HCHS football coach

Halifax County High School officials on Thursday afternoon named Kenneth Day as the interim head coach of the Halifax County High School varsity football team to replace Mike Roark, who has resigned from the post.

Day, who has taught and coached in the Halifax County school system for 27 years, will officially take the post as interim head football coach following formal approval by the Halifax County School Board at the board’s December meeting.

Halifax County High School Principal Albert Randolph placed no timetable on the length of Day’s coaching tenure.

“We’re not going to put a timetable on how long Mr. Day will do this job,” Randolph said.

“I have had the privilege to work with Coach Day for the past 14 years and have found him to be a very respectable coach and teacher. We wanted someone in place immediately to start our conditioning and weightlifting program so that we won’t have a long lapse in moving our program forward. It is very important we start immediately because of the student interest and for the betterment of our high school program.”

With yesterday’s announcement, Day becomes the school’s fifth varsity football coach since 2005. Only one coach, Stan Hodgin, was on board for as many as three seasons since the 2005 season.

Day said his long tenure at Halifax County High School as a teacher, an assistant baseball coach and his several turns at being head freshman football coach, head junior varsity football coach and assistant varsity football coach played a role in his being asked to head up the Comets football program.

“I think one of the reasons they approached me about the interim job is because I’ve been here the longest of anybody here,” he remarked.

“I know how to get things done. We just need to continue to work hard.” 

Roark did not attend yesterday afternoon’s school press conference. Randolph read a two-sentence prepared statement from Roark saying, “Mr. Randolph, I will not be returning as the 2014 Halifax County High School football coach. I do plan to remain as a teacher at Halifax County High School.” 

Day, who has served for many years as assistant baseball coach at Halifax County High School, will continue in that capacity for the upcoming season.

“I would like to provide him the opportunity if he would like to stay as assistant baseball coach,” Randolph said.

Day feels it is in the best interest of the players and the baseball program to continue as assistant baseball coach.

“Coach Davis (Head Comets Baseball Coach Kelvin Davis) and I work well together,” Day said, “and I feel it’s the best thing for the kids. I’m organized enough, and I have the support of the administration and the coaching staff that will allow me to continue to do that.”

Day said he welcomes the opportunity to attempt to move the program forward. 

“One of the reasons I was approached was so we could have a smooth transition,” Day said, “instead of letting all of the questions be up in the air. The kids are supporting it, the parents are supporting it, plus the administration wants it. 

“It’s unbelievable the support I have received from the community and the administration. Even players I had three years ago are coming up to me. That’s what made my mind up to say yes to being interim coach.”

Day made no promises other than he and the coaching staff would work hard to bring success back to the football program.

“We’re going to do the best we can do,” Day remarked.

“We’re going to work hard to put the kids in a position to be successful, not just on the field, but hopefully when they graduate from high school.”

Randolph said he and school officials did not look at hiring a coach from the outside.

“Coach Day has been in the school system 27 years and that’s one of the reasons why we’re trying to return back home,” Randolph said.

“We want someone who knows the students, knows the community and is well-respected in the community.”

Also yesterday, Randolph said a parent-community leader group has been organized to provide imput on various facets of the Halifax County High School football program. That committee was set to meet for the first time last night.

The high school principal said a multi-step program is being looked at to help bring the school’s football program back to a competitive posture.

“We’re on a mission with this football program to turn this around, not necessarily in wins and losses, but turn it around to where we gain the respect of the community, the parents, the athletes and the administration.”

Halifax County Assistant School Superintendent Valdivia Marshall, Halifax County High School Associate Principal Michael Lewis and Halifax County High School Athletic Director Allen Lawter also attended Thursday’s press conference with Randolph and Day.