‘Chappell’ bells are ringing at Pisgah HighNew football coach formerly introduced at press conference
CANTON — Pisgah High School Principal Greg Bailey got the school board’s approval and formerly introduced Brett Chappell 30 minutes later to a packed cafeteria as the Black Bears’ new head football coach during a Monday late afternoon news conference.
Chappell takes over for David Pressley, who stepped down in November to concentrate on his athletic director duties.
“I am excited about the opportunity of being with my new kids, being here with you guys,” said Chappell. “As I look around the room, I’m amazed at the passion that you all have, it’s not just about football at Pisgah, it’s about the school. It is a great honor to be named the next head football coach at Pisgah High School.
“When people talk about the great tradition at Pisgah, you clearly hear the echoes of the great coaches that have roamed the sidelines before me like Boyd Allen, Joe Compton, Danny Shook, Carroll Wright, Eddie Reneau and David Pressley. These are men that got the job done and did it the right way.
“Now it’s my turn to pace the sidelines. I keep a scrap book on my desk at school and on the front cover it reads ‘How will you be remember?’ I know how hard I am going to work to keep this program successful.
“That is a sense of accomplishment to me. There will be numerous things asked of me during my time here, I asked only one thing in return and that is to rally behind us and let’s see how far we can go.”
In Bailey’s introduction, he told the players, staff, parents and the fans, he felt good the 36-year-old former East Henderson coach is a great fit for Pisgah.
“When we entered in to this search, we looked for a person who will continue on with our tradition of winning here a Pisgah High School,” said Bailey. “But not only winning but finding a man exactly like Coach Chappell, who would come in and brace the core values that Pisgah High School and our community hold near and dear.
“I really feel positive that we found that man in Coach Chappell. He is a successful coach, a family man with a strong desire to be a part of this program, this community and this school,” he added.
Chappell said he knew right away he would take the job. He stated during the press conference his belief that Pisgah High is considered a top high school football program and has all the tools needed to compete on the football field.
“One of the top reasons for me to come to Pisgah is its tradition,” said Chappell. “As you grew up in Western North Carolina, Pisgah is one of those schools you traditionally hear about. The great fans support the good teams that have come though here over the years and the passion that everyone has not only for football but all the sports.
“There’s the passion for softball, which recently won a state championship, the cheerleaders, which just won a state championship. I just think that it is a good place to be and a good place that I would like to see my kids go to school.
“There are a lot of positive intangibles taking over the Pisgah football program. Two are having David (Pressley) staying on the athletic director and principal Greg (Bailey), who both have been head football coaches. I don’t know that you would find that in any other school. It played a big role in my decision.”
For most of the press conference, Chappell spent addressing the entire team. What he told them impressed all the players, including junior quarterback McKinley Brown.
“I really love the choice,” said Brown. “I think he is really going to push us and hopefully it will pay off in a deep playoff run. I think the administration made a great choice and I am as well as all the players are really excited about Coach Chappell being named our new football coach.”
Chappell took over a struggling East Henderson High School football program in 2005, and immediately turned it around, coaching the Eagles to four conference championships and 67 wins.
As a prep star at Rosman High, Chappell rushed for 5,296 yards and he also played college football at Western Carolina University (1994-98).