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Brent Secrest has been involved in six different sports during his high school coaching career of 25 years — all Fike High.
The 52-year-old Secrest, an Ohio native, will become the head coach of a second varsity sport during the 2018-19 season with the Golden Demons.
New athletic director Tom Nelson announced Secrest has accepted the position of head volleyball coach. He is approaching his 10th season as the head varsity boys basketball coach. He succeeds Jaleesa Harper, who will become a graduate assistant at UNC Pembroke.
“I’m excited,” Secrest expressed. “I am not taking the position so the girls will have a coach. I am going to treat it like basketball — the goal will be to win. Coaching volleyball will not be secondary to basketball.”
Secrest functioned the previous four seasons as head junior varsity and assistant volleyball coach.
He is a graduate of Shelby High in Shelby, Ohio, where he played basketball and baseball. Secrest graduated from Ohio State University in 1990
Secrest launched his coaching career at Fike as the result of a friend in the Ohio State band, who was teaching at Fike, sending him an application. He returned the application and found himself Wilson-bound.
He started out volunteering in basketball and his duties include two stints in football. Secrest was a member of the coaching staff of the 1999 Fike baseball team that seized the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A championship. He volunteer-coached in softball and spent one season in the sport of track.
Secrest is married to the former Jennifer Daumeyer and they are the parents of a son, A.C., a sophomore at Ohio State; and a daughter, E.J., a rising junior at Fike who plays volleyball, basketball and softball.
“We are very comfortable with Brent taking over the volleyball program,” Tom Nelson expressed. “He is an experienced coach with more than 20 years at Fike. He has been with the volleyball program several years.
“We feel it will be a very smooth transition. He is accustomed to the program and the girls are familiar with him.”
Secrest said Jordan Howell will lead the J.V. program and, on the varsity, he will be assisted, as available, by Emily Nelson.
The process of evaluating the players is underway in summer camps and tryouts are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The Lady Golden Demons serve into the Secrest era on Aug. 14 at Farmville Central and open their home season on Aug. 15 against South Central.
“I’ve coached all of them,” Secrest commented. “I have worked with some of them in class and in softball.”
Secrest said the roster will be junior-loaded with three seniors and seven returnees. He indicated the system will be subject to tweaks but not to drastic changes.
“We’ve got to communicate,” Secrest emphasized, “be aggressive and hit the floor. The reason I enjoy volleyball is that it is just like basketball — fast-paced and a true team sport.”
He mentions the primary goal as winning the 3-A Big East Conference, of which Franklinton is the defending champion.
“You have got to set goals high to obtain them,” Secrest contended. “We want to win the conference, make the playoffs and see what happens. We’ve got a load of talent; we are just going to be young.”