- Wednesday, 18 August 2021
- Written by Dr. Shanessa Fenner
Coaches play a pivotal role in the lives of their players and they carry the huge responsibility of having to develop them as individuals and athletes. Peace Shepard Easton is qualified, willing, and more than ready for this responsibility and challenge as the new coach for Fayetteville Tech’s women’s basketball.
Her extensive background began with her start in playing recreational basketball in her elementary years. During her middle and high school years, she played basketball, ran track and participated in volleyball. Volleyball was one of her top sports and she was also good in track and field with the triple jump, high jump, long jump and 4x400 relay.
Easton excelled in all three sports and graduated from Swansboro High School in 1993. She attended basketball camps and was recruited by several colleges in the ACC.
Easton attended N. C. State where she played for Coach Kay Yow. In her senior year, Eaton helped the Wolfpack make it to the NCAA Final Four. She also played professional basketball after college overseas in Italy, Brazil, Honduras, Ecuador, Finland and Greece.
Her awards include Coach of the Year, Hall of Fame inductee, MVP, numerous state championships, state playoffs and more. Easton was previously the coach of Holly Springs High School for seven years. While there, Easton racked up 100 wins and earned conference coach of the year honors three times and lead the program to four conference chanpionships and five state playoffs.
With having the substantial experience of more than thirty-something years of coaching and playing basketball FTCC Athletic Director Dr. Shannon Yates gave Easton the opportunity to lead the Trojans.
“I am looking forward to being their influencer, coach, big sister and mentor,” said Easton.
“By having been a high school student, a college basketball player, a professional basketball player, and a coach, I don’t have all the answers, but I can at least guide the ladies in the right direction to do the right thing because I have been through it.”
She added, “I understand the struggles of being a high school basketball player from a small town trying to be noticed.”
Easton had a life changing experience during her childhood.
“My father had a stroke when I was in the 8th grade so I was living in a home where my mom took care of my dad,” said Easton. “He is paralyzed on his right side, can’t talk, and nothing has changed besides he has gotten older and has become more dependent on my mom who has been the best wife that any husband could actually have.”
"People didn’t know that I have always assisted her in the background and a lot of people did not know that I had all of this going on in the spotlight with basketball,” said Easton.
“They never knew that I was coming home to a mother who was taking care of my father, showed me how to make lemons out of lemonade, and she is my biggest influencer.”
Coach Easton earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and spends time working in health services.
“At the moment I have worked for five years with UNC and I have been working with Medicare claims,” said Easton.
“So basically I assist providers as far as getting their claims paid in regards to if it is going to be covered by Medicare, the patient, or hospice.”
Easton added that she has been in health care since she graduated from high school and started out at Sigma.
Coach Easton has great plans for Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Women’s basketball team.
“I just want to make a difference as far as trying to get kids to the next step and using my background, connections and networks that I have created in the past,” said Easton.
“I made a lot of relationships and I want to take advantage of that because there are a lot of people that I know who are college coaches in any realm of Division I, II and III.”
She added, “I want to take those relationships and help make the lives better for my athletes.”
When asked what is the one thing that people would be surprised to know about her, she responded, “They would be surprised to know that I am very shy and I don’t like public speaking or being in the spotlight, but there is something about when I get on the court and start coaching, it just leaves me,” said Easton. “There is no fear at all and I am in my element at that time, but I like for someone else to do the speaking and I will tell them thanks for doing a great job.”
As far as beginning her first season at FTCC, Easton was quick to share her thoughts: “I am very proud and excited to be given the opportunity in the college world to coach,” said Easton. “It has always been a dream of mine.”
Pictured above: Peace Shepard Easton brings decades of experience to her role as head coach of FTCC's women's basketball. (Photos courtesy Fayetteville Technical Community College)