When the Fayetteville High School girls begin practicing for their final basketball campaign next month, they will do so under a new leader.
Veteran head coach John Mark Kincaid recently submitted his resignation, and his job is currently posted.
Kincaid said Wednesday giving up the post with just one season left for the school was a tough call, but family won out in the end.
“I was thinking hard about it last year,” Kincaid said. “It was a really tough decision,” adding that he had his resignation letter on hand for six weeks before submitting it.
Although he underwent hip replacement surgery this summer, Kincaid said he resigned primarily so he could watch his son, freshman Cade, play basketball at Midland Trail this winter. “I’m going to go watch him play jayvee basketball.”
During his more than a decade at the helm, Kincaid guided the Pirates to four Class A girls state basketball tournament appearances (2009, 2014, 2015 and 2016). In those four seasons alone, they were a combined 68-26. Fayetteville lost in the first round each time, with the last effort being a 61-42 setback to eventual state champion Gilmer County in 2016.
Fayetteville stumbled to a 2-17 record last season.
“I thought we did it the right way, with the local kids,” Kincaid said of the program. “We were very competitive.
“For a public school, we were pretty successful.”
One thing he says he won’t miss are coaches who are “cut-throat” in their pursuit of players to change schools.
Kincaid, 56, who has been a special education teacher for 26 years, is the current Fayetteville Middle School football coach, and he says that, although he’ll have to re-apply, he hopes to maintain that job next year.
He also led the Pirates to the state high school baseball tournament twice, and he has coached several sports at various county schools.
Kincaid says he may get back into coaching basketball somewhere down the line. Now, though, he’s going to relax a little.
“This will be the first time in years I haven’t coached two or three sports,” he said.
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