Hanner replaces Lingerfelt as East football coach
When Bryan Lingerfelt decided to step down as head football coach at East Davidson, he and principal Billy Hunt had a pretty good idea of whom to choose to fill the position — a former player already on staff, Vance Hanner.
Hanner, a former Golden Eagles player and an assistant on Lingerfelt’s staff for the last 11 years, will become East Davidson’s head football coach after Lingerfelt recently decided to step down after 11 seasons.
“Coach Hanner will do an excellent job,” Hunt said during a gathering of local media Wednesday at the school. “He has earned his stripes, so to say. He’s worked under Coach Lingerfelt for 11 years and been defensive coordinator. So, he’s ready for the challenge.
“At the same time, it saddens me, as a principal, that Coach Lingerfelt won’t be coaching football anymore. … I understand why Coach Lingerfelt wants to give up coaching football at this point, and I’m very happy and very lucky to have Coach Hanner on our staff.”
Lingerfelt decided to step down in large part because his sons are reaching the ages where they are playing middle school and high school sports and he wanted the flexibility to watch them play. He also wanted to give Hanner the opportunity to become a head coach.
“I see potential in Coach Hanner as a football coach, and I’ve got to be able to step aside and let him flourish,” said Lingerfelt, who will remain co-athletic director along with Kim Warrick. “With that, East Davidson’s going to flourish and continue what it needs to do.
“He’s East Davidson all the way through and I think it’s a good opportunity for him. He has a tremendous talent, he will work hard for them, and he’s a whole lot smarter than I am,” he added with a laugh. “And he does care about the kids — A, No. 1.”
Hanner, who was a lineman for Eddie Williamson’s teams and a 1997 graduate, said he is excited about becoming head coach and the challenges — including moving from defense to offense — it brings.
“This has been my home school — I’m very excited about that,” he said. “I appreciate Mr. Hunt, Coach Lingerfelt and Ms. Warrick thinking enough of me to allow me this opportunity. It’s humbling. It’s a lot of responsibility to be a leader in this community. But I think I can do it.
“I’ve been a defensive guy for 11 years and now I’ll be an offensive guy, so I’ll have to deal with that. I am excited, and it is refreshing to do something different. So, I’m excited about that, and I’m excited about those 19 seniors who are coming back.”
Lingerfelt, whose team tied for the Central Carolina 2A title in 2007, and Hanner both left open the idea that Lingerfelt could remain as an assistant coach, but that remains to be seen. For now, they’re both looking forward to what the future holds for East Davidson football.
“One of the biggest things when I talk with other coaches. They ask: Who’s on your staff?” Lingerfelt said. “One of the first things out of my mouth is that I have two former players coaching for me. That’s one of my proudest moments, having those guys come back.
“For us who are coaching in high school, that’s what it’s all about.”