After 20 years at Denair High School Therion Gregory has retired. Gregory turned in his resignation in December and has since moved to Utah where he plans on finishing his education.
“It was just time for me to call it quits and take a little break,” Gregory said. “I’m going to miss that camaraderie we had. I really enjoyed coaching there.”
During his time at Denair Gregory wore many hats, coaching girl’s basketball, track and field and wrestling. He will be remembered most for his role as the varsity football coach, however, where he led the Coyotes to four playoff appearances, a Southern League title in 2007 and a position as section runners up.
Parents, players and fellow coaches were upset upon receiving the news of Gregory’s departure.
“It saddens me. He is a coach for the kids,” Gregory’s assistant coach Joel Sanders said. “He was a lead by example coach.”
“He is a tremendous person,” Denair’s former athletic director Ron Cornell said. “The first thing on his mind was the kid’s well being.”
In fact, many of Gregory’s former players still keep in contact with him through Facebook and have wished him well on his new endeavors.
“You’re not going to meet a better man than Therion Gregory,” Sanders said.
Now, with Gregory gone parents and players alike are left wondering who will fill the void. Adding to the confusion is Denair’s decision to fire all of its football coaches, a move that is mostly unheard of at the high school level.
“It takes a special person to coach at Denair,” Cornell said. “The community should be very appreciative of the years he put in and what he’s done with the kids. He’s more than a coach, he’s a mentor.”
“The staff I put together in the eight years I was there is a pretty good staff,” Gregory said. “Any one of those guys can fill the void.”
Whoever will be chosen to replace Gregory on the sidelines remains to be seen but it’s clear by the reaction of the small community that no one will be able to replace him in their hearts.
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