Weaverville – For the second time, North Buncombe Head Football Coach Brandon Allen has resigned and is leaving for a job in Haywood County. This comes with less than a month until football season begins.
“The head football coach vacancy has been posted, and the school is accepting applications,” said Stacia Harris with the Buncombe County School System. “School administrators hope to be able to schedule interviews soon. Coach Gary Massey and Coach Zach Shook will temporarily share coaching responsibilities and keep the football program moving forward. The school will be able to share much more information with staff and families soon. NBHS’s top priority is to continue to provide a solid football program that supports its athletes.”
The Tribune talked with Coach Allen about his decision to leave. Asked if it was something that happened that made him come to this decision, Allen said, “This was unexpected. I’ll go ahead and tell you I’ll be moving home. Upon board approval, I’ll be going to an elementary school in Haywood County…I’m just coming home to be a dad. I just want to take a step back from football and come home and focus on my family. Go and support them in their endeavors and what they’re trying to accomplish.” He late said he knew this was “…the worst possible timing, but this was not something I was expecting.”
Allen made it clear that he was not coaching in the near future but did not rule out ever coaching again.
“I’m not saying I’ll never coach again, but for right now I just want to be dad.” He added, “I am absolutely stepping away from athletics where I can be just dad for my daughter (12) and my son (8).”
Asked what he might want to say to the fans of North Buncombe football, Allen replied, “The kids are ready. They’ve got a great group of young men who’ve been working extremely hard all summer. They have an amazing staff that’s in place that’s eager and ready to go.” He also had nothing but praise for the fans. “The North Buncombe community has been nothing but great to me and my family. We will forever be grateful for our time there.”
However, upon hearing the news on Facebook when the Tribune broke the story on July 27, fans were not as kind to hear that Allen had left the time for a second time.
“Shouldn’t be a surprise, didn’t he already do this once? Pretty lame timing on his part,” said Brian Posey in his post.
Jeff Lawrence posted, “Kind of an odd time to do this. Right as the season is about to start.”
Stacy Hill posted, “Exact reason North Buncombe can’t excel at football, we have a new coach every other year. It’s been like that for years!! Probably need someone that played at NB and cares about the kids in the north end! Stop getting coaches from outside the county. I believe just about every coach the last few years has been from Haywood County!! Who about giving someone a chance that’s played at NB, if we have anyone that’s coaching high school football!! Just a thought.”
However, not all the comments were negative with Susie Edwards Fender saying, “Blessings to him for putting his children first” and Vickie Guy posting, “Welcome Back Home!”
A parent of a student and a member of the staff at the school, both of who wanted to remain anonymous, said they believe leadership at the school was hard to get along with. The parent said they believed that’s what lead Allen to his decision.
Coach Allen made no mention of any conflict with leadership but did go on to say about the team, “I expect great things from them. They will have an amazing season and I think they have a great offensive and defensive line. I think they have an amazing quarterback that is stepping in, not just a great talented young man, but he’s a phenomenal leader. So when I step away, I didn’t feel like I was leaving something that was going to fall apart. They have so many good coaches, so many good players, I expect North Buncombe to be extremely competitive this year.” He tells the Tribune, “This was not an easy decision by no means just because I love North Buncombe and I love those kids and that coaching staff is unbelievable. But at the end of the day…the timing was terrible, but it was time for me to come home and be what my family needs
me to be.”