Holley succeeds famous dad

Staff WriterMay 30, 2007 

Following a legendary coach who has the most wins in the history of North Carolina high school football -- and who also is your father -- can be daunting.

But that doesn't seem to rattle Battle Holley, named football coach Tuesday at Wallace-Rose Hill High. He insists he doesn't feel extra pressure as successor to his famous father, Jack Holley, who recently announced his retirement.

"You've got to be yourself, coach 'em hard, love 'em, and whatever happens happens," Battle said. "We'll try to keep everything [in the program] about the same."

Why change? Jack Holley compiled an overall 380-89-9 record at Tabor City, Hallsboro, South Columbus and Wallace-Rose Hill (178-28). Now Battle hopes to keep the Bulldogs' tradition going with some help from his pop.

"I want him to coach the offensive line, if my mama will let him," said Battle, who has served as offensive coordinator and baseball coach since 2000.

Before becoming a coach, Battle Holley played three sports at W-RH, starred in baseball at UNC-Wilmington and spent three years in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league organization.

"He's well respected, relates real well to the kids, and is old school when it comes to work ethic," principal M.D. Guthrie said. "We are very excited he took the job."

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