Mike Lovelace, who has been a fixture as the baseball coach at Mount Tabor for the past 16 years, has announced his resignation.
Mount Tabor also announced that Joey Edwards has been named the wrestling coach, replacing Tiesuan Brown, who was the coach the past four seasons but will remain as the head football coach.
For Lovelace, 46, his resignation was mostly about having too much on his plate right now, including moving to Mooresville to live with his girlfriend, Tamara Payne.
“Part of it is I have moved this way and having to travel and with family and different things that I’ve been doing, it’s just one of those things where for the past 25 years I’ve coached football, I’ve been a head baseball coach, the head American Legion coach,” said Lovelace, who finished 8-17 overall and 7-5 in the Piedmont Triad 3-A this season. “At some point I had to make a decision to be able to let one of them end up going. It’s just been a tough process because I just love it. I’m just so passionate about what I do and being around the kids.”
Athletics Director Frank Martin said he realized that Lovelace was having to grapple with so many things.
“Everybody’s got their own reasons for needing to make a change,” Martin said. “Of course we respect that. Mike’s got a lot of stuff going on. He, being the head baseball coach, he was the assistant football coach, EC (Exceptional Children) teacher, parent, Legion baseball. So he had a lot of stuff going on.”
Lovelace has no plans to leave Mount Tabor, where he will stay on as a teacher and assistant football coach with Brown. However, if something opens somewhere near Lake Norman, he would consider his options.
“As of now I am still a Special Education teacher and I’m still an assistant football coach,” Lovelace said. “That is not to say there’s not going to be some other opportunities. Right now I am at Mount Tabor, but there are maybe some other opportunities. And I just don’t know what direction it’s going to end up landing. There’s nothing that’s set in stone.”
Another factor in his decision was his son, Easton, who’s a sophomore at Mount Tabor.
“My son is a special-needs child,” Lovelace said. “He’s in occupational courses study there. And those ladies that are in that program — and this is what I told (Principal) Ed (Weiss) and those in the meeting — they have been the most wonderful thing to my son.
“And for me to have to face him and say that Dad is going somewhere else, it would been be the toughest thing that I would ever have to face in my entire life.”
The job has been posted and Martin said he and Weiss would like to build upon what Lovelace did for the Spartans.
“It will be posted for a couple weeks then once it finishes posting we’ll review the applicants and go from there,” Martin said. “So I hope at some point this summer we’ll be able to make that decision.”
Lovelace said Mount Tabor has changed his life.
“Mount Tabor, I call it home now,” he said. “I’m a West Forsyth graduate, but I feel like I have blue and gold in me.
“It’s just a wonderful community.”
Edwards has been an assistant wrestling coach at Mount Tabor the past two seasons with Brown. Brown felt like that being a head football coach and head wrestling coach was too much, so he resigned after the wrestling season in February.
“He had been wanting me to kind of step in and take it over, but I was reluctant because I live in Mount Airy and time is just the biggest factor with coaching wrestling,” Edwards said.
Having already been there the past two seasons made it easier to hire Edwards.
“He’s got good relationships with the kids,” Martin said. “He’s a man that can and will put in the off-season time. So he’s been working with the kids anyway.”
Edwards is a math teacher at Mount Tabor, so he will be able to be there for the wrestlers.
“I would hope that we’ll contend or could contend for a conference championship each year,” Martin said. “Whether we do or, at least in position.”
The Spartans were in the NCHSAA Class 3-A dual-team tournament as the No. 2 seed from the Piedmont Triad 3-A and lost to Southeast Guilford 21-3 in the first round.
“I guess in the next couple years I want to try to get more interest from the students here,” Edwards said. “A lot of them aren’t really sure what wrestling’s all about.”