Familiar faces will be filling a couple of coaching positions at Cumberland County high schools next year.
Cape Fear has named former Fayetteville State mens’ basketball coach Alphonza Kee as its boys’ basketball coach while South View has picked veteran assistant coach Phil Dean as its new softball coach.
Kee replaces Robert Strong, who left Cape Fear to become head coach at Bethlehem Christian Academy in Georgia. At this writing, Kee’s hiring was still awaiting final approval of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
“I’m excited I’ve got somebody coming with such high character and passion for teaching young men,’’ said Cape Fear principal Lee Spruill. “He’s not just a coach, he’s also an educator.’’
Kee said he wants to lay a foundation of hard work, character and discipline. “We want ... to try to get a feeder system started and start teaching from the ground up,’’ he said.
Kee spent seven years at Fayetteville State and was 91-105 overall and 47-70 in the CIAA. His first head coaching job was at Max Abbott Middle School where he won a championship.
Dean will be moving into his first head coaching job after a long career at South View that included coaching both football and softball.
“I’m excited to have my first head coaching position at my alma mater,’’ the 1979 South View graduate said. “I look forward to building on the excellence that has been established before.’’
He started with the softball team under the late Eddie Dees in 1999, then continued when Kellie Aldridge took over the program. He got out of softball coaching from 2009-14, then returned to help Aldridge coach the current class of seniors.
Aldridge recently announced she is leaving South View for family reasons and will join the staff at Gray’s Creek High School where she will assist with coaching the softball team.
• Because of space limitations, this week’s scheduled spring football preview of Pine Forest was held. It will appear in next week’s edition of Up &
Photo: Cape Fear has named former Fayetteville State mens’ basketball coach Alphonza Kee as its boys’ basketball coach.