David Byrd

New Lincolnton head football coach David Byrd.

A familiar face is set to take over the leadership role of the Lincolnton High School football program.

David Byrd will take over the duties as the Wolves head football coach immediately after being named for the position on Tuesday evening.

Byrd is very familiar with the Lincolnton football program and its long tradition of winning. A 1987 graduate of Lincolnton High School, Byrd played under former head coach Von Ray Harris. He went on to play at Wofford College in Spartanburg under head coach Mike Ayers, where he excelled at linebacker, defensive line and offensive line.

Byrd is now entering his 20th year of coaching, splitting his entire career between Lincolnton Middle School and LHS. His vision for the football program is to bring back community involvement and student body support.

“We’ve had loyal support in the past,” said Byrd, “and we want to build that back. We’ll leave no stone unturned in the community.”

From the feeder schools to the student body to the alumni, Byrd is all about getting everyone involved. “We have one of the greatest traditions in North Carolina,” Byrd said. “We need to celebrate and restore Wolf pride.”

The new head coach hopes to see more alumni involved with the program and in the stands on Friday nights. Byrd wants the Sports Booster Club to grow and will support the high school band. “The band is an integral part of football Friday nights,” Byrd said. “They create a great atmosphere. I’m glad we got the bell back.”

New Lincolnton High School principal Scott Carpenter said in a statement, “He’s (Byrd) a Lincolnton High School alumni that graduated in 1987. He has been solid, and has coached with some good coaches at LHS. He’s become a proven leader.”

“David knows how to do the behind-the-scenes work,” Carpenter said. “He has great character and he’s loyal to Lincolnton High School. Coaching is in his blood. I have the highest confidence in David.”

Byrd will take over for the departed Joe Glass, who accepted the same position at Hickory High School two weeks ago. The Wolves were 4-13 in two seasons under Glass.

The new head coach will have his work cut out for him, inheriting a program that has gone just 12-29 over the last four seasons. To put that into perspective, Lincolnton posted a 45-13 record from 2013 through 2016.

This fall, the Wolves will participate in the newly formed Catawba Valley Athletic Conference, a new 2A conference under the NCHSAA’s 2021 realignment.

Conference opponents will include Bandys, Bunker Hill, East Burke, Maiden, Newton-Conover, West Caldwell and West Lincoln. The Wolves will play East Lincoln and North Lincoln in non-conference play, now that both of those schools are moving into a 3A league.

Byrd’s first official game as head coach of the Wolves will come on August 20 when Lincolnton travels to South Point.

Byrd and his wife Angie have two sons, Christian and Matthew, both Lincolnton High School graduates. The family is proud to call Lincolnton and LHS home.

“Lincolnton means everything to me,” Byrd said. It’s the only place that I ever want to be. Anywhere else doesn’t fit. Lincolnton is where everything begins and ends.”  (Published June 11, 2021)

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