It was no surprise to many when South Stokes Kent Mendenhall and Keith Gore were named WPAC coaches of the year this spring for the second year in a row.
Mendenhall led his golfers to a Western Piedmont Conference season win, conference championship, and a third place team finish in the 2-A men’s golf championship.
“Both of these men have a great work ethic, they’re committed to what they’re doing and I think the kids see that and it makes them even more committed to the program,” said athletic director Mitch Adams.
Mendenhall coaches the girls and boys golf team and also assists with swimming. Before retiring he spent a number of years coaching varsity basketball.
“Coach Mendenhall has been around for a long time and brings a lot of wisdom,” Adams said. “I think his leadership and knowledge and all of his experience definitely helps his players. He keeps them in the right mind frame. They’re a young team so to be able to have such a successful run this season says a lot about him.”
Before retiring, Gore led the girls and boys teams to conference wins for the second year in a row and had four athletes qualify for the 2-A state championship. He’s also been a staple in the Sauras football program over the past 30 years.
“He’s definitely someone you can’t replace and his absence will be felt for a long time,” Adams said.
Gore’s coaching position hasn’t been filled but coach Chad Amos is slated to replace Gore in South’s weight room.
“Coach Amos will step in and carry on what coach Gore built up there. What he’s done in that weight room is unreal. He expects a lot out of the kids and wants them to work hard and that’s why that weight program has done what it has over the years.”
Each year students are turned away from the class because it’s quick to fill up.
“He’s going to be missed,” Adams said. “Being around him makes you feel like a better person, a better teacher, and coach. We’ll be talking about his impact for years to come.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.