Dayna Jordan, who had one of the longest coaching tenures in the Triangle, has been relieved of her girls basketball coaching duties at Broughton.
Jordan said she was told earlier in the week by Jack Spain, the school’s athletic director, it was time for the school to make a change. Jordan, who led the Caps to a 20-8 record and a second-place finish in the Cap Eight 4A conference last season, said the decision caught her off guard.
“I thought I performed well, but he makes the decisions,” Jordan said of Spain. “I was surprised.”
Spain declined to comment.
Chris East, Millbrook’s girls basketball coach, said he was shocked that Jordan wouldn’t be returning for her 12th season at Broughton.
Under her direction, Jordan built Broughton into one of the area’s most successful programs in the last decade. The Caps won five conference titles, reached the playoffs nine times and advanced to the East regional final twice. Jordan said the Caps’ 2005 4A state championship will remain one of her favorite coaching memories.
“I loved the atmosphere there,” said Jordan, who was 190-93 at Broughton. “The administration was great and there were so many great girls.”
Last season, the Caps remained competitive against taller teams – Broughton’s tallest player was 5-foot-9 – by deploying a combination of full-court press, box-and-one and extended man-to-man defenses.
“I just had such a great group of girls with so much talent,” Jordan said. “It was thrilling to be as successful as we were given we didn’t have a tall team.”
East, who has been at Millbrook for 15 years, said Jordan did one of her best coaching jobs last season. He, along with the other coaches in the Cap Eight, voted Jordan as the conference coach of the year.
“It’s going to be a huge loss for our conference,” said East, whose team lost once to Broughton in January en route to winning the state title last season. “To me, the coach of the year goes above and beyond what’s expected. It’s who gets the most out of their kids. She did the best job.”
In that Jan. 20 game against Millbrook, the Caps used full-court traps to rally from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 55-49.
“Every time you played a team coached by Dayna, she’d add a new wrinkle,” East said. “I became a better coach because I needed to counteract what she was trying to do.”
Jordan’s players said she was an effective motivator. Broughton senior Emily Newton said she felt Jordan became a better coach each year.
“She was a good coach,” said Newton, who expressed she was surprised Jordan wouldn’t return. “She had her methods, and they worked, because we had a great season.”
Jordan also helped Newton get back on the court two years ago. Newton was diagnosed with Wilson disease, a rare genetic disorder that caused her body to retain poisonous amounts of copper.
Newton said Jordan helped inspire her to return to the team.
“A lot of people were telling me I wouldn’t play basketball again,” Newton said. “She really pushed me, and she would tell me to keep working hard.”
Jordan, who didn’t teach at Broughton the last two years, said she plans to take a break from coaching and spend time with her three children. But if the right opportunity comes along, Jordan said she would like to continue coaching.
East thinks Jordan will be coaching again soon.
“She’s a coach that expects nothing but the best from her kids,” he said. “If I was an athletic director, her phone would be ringing.”
Staff researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.