After spending only one season at Howell’s Cove, David Wright turned in his resignation from his teaching, head football and basketball positions.
“It was a tough choice for me, but it really helps me with my kids,” Wright said. “I am almost two years divorced and this past season my kids are involved in athletics. They are going into the seventh grade. I have a track runner and a basketball player; for the past nine months it has been ‘hey daddy we got this going on can you make it?’ It has been ‘no baby I cant make it, I have to go to a softball game or have I have to go do this or go do that.’”
His resignation leaves the Fighting Tigers less than a month to fill the position before the first day of AHSAA sanctioned practice kick off Aug. 6.
Wright said he wasn’t interested in going back to Gaston, but he said he couldn't pass up the chance to be closer to his daughters.
“I talked with my ex-wife and asked her by chance if I took a job at Gaston would you let the twins come to school there,” Wright said. “We went back on pros and cons about and she agreed. She was like ‘yeah, if you are there I consent to let the twins go to school where you are.’ The thing is every coach wants to have a chance to coach his kids. If his kids are in sports that is a coach’s dream. There I will have a chance to be hands-on with them in track and in basketball. That is really when I put it all on the scale. Continue to be a head football coach or getting a chance to spend more time with your kids and be more involved with your kids. When you put that on the scale, my kids have to win every time. That was the bitter pill that I had to swallow as far as making the decision today to leave TC.”
In his only season as the Fighting Tigers football coach, Wright went 3-7 and missed the playoffs by only one game.
Coming into the season, the TC Central basketball team was thought of as being a team that could compete for a Class 1A championship.
The Fighting Tigers fell short of their goal as they lost to Shades Mountain Christian in the Sub-Regional Tournament. Wright feels like both teams would have been ready to take a step in the right direction this season.
“I honestly feel like in football we were going to win at least six ball games this year,” Wright said. “I feel like we were going to make the playoffs this year. Basketball has a legitimate shot at getting out of Regionals this year and going to the Final Four. It was a tough decision because, as a coach, you are thinking man look you don’t walk away from like this right here. I am not saying anything negative about Gaston athletics, but I knew what we were working with there at TC and what we had coming back. It was a decision that I made for me and my girls. They got to win that decision every time.”
Thursday, Wright got a chance to watch his oldest daughter help lead the North team to victory in AHSAA All-Star week volleyball game. He said he missed a lot of his oldest daughter’s actives, but he said he didn’t want to miss out with his younger daughter.
“That is the whole thing, she will be a senior next year and my whole coaching career it has been hard for me to be around her and go to many of her games,” Wright said. “I do get to go support her in the summer when she is doing travel ball. As far as regular season, I am limited. The thing about it is she stays in Huntsville, so even if I wasn’t at TC, it wouldn’t matter with her. She has been on the homecoming court the past three years and every year I get a phone call ‘hey daddy will you be able to escort me this year.’ For the past three years it has been ‘no baby I cant if you playing on Friday we are playing on Friday.’ Now, I have 12-year-old twins that are there in Gadsden and I got a chance to not miss out on their activities. That is when you say ‘I missed a lot with my oldest daughter. I have 12-year-old twins that I have a chance to be apart of.’ It is just tough.”
Wright said he would like to thank the Principal Tim Young, the administration, Talladega County Board of Education, the parents and the fans for making his one year at the Cove memorable.
“Mr. Young has been wonderful making sure the kids got what they need and he made sure I got anything that I needed to help the kids be successful,” Wright said. “It was a great time for me there at TC. We had some ups and downs on the win and loss column in football, but the support, love, appreciation— it is no place like it.”