After seven years as Middle Creek athletics director, Lewis Owens is stepping down. Owens’ resignation is effective at the end of the school year.
Owens has been at Middle Creek for 10 years and has 28 years of coaching and administration experience. He has lived in Durham all while commuiting to Middle Creek, which is located near the outskirts of Cary, Apex and Holly Springs.
But next year he wants to be around his home more, as his daughter enters her senior year at Hillside High.
“I just want to back off on some of these responsiblities, which are burning me out, to spend some time with her,” Owens said. “I’m going to take a year off and see where it takes me.”
Owens is a native of Durham and played football at Wake Forest University. He was an assistant football coach at Garner when it won the state 4-A championship in 1987 and coached the Hillside boys’ track team to a state title in 2001.
In his time as AD, the Mustangs have laid claim to four state championships (three in cheerleading, one in baseball) and four national ones (cheerleading).
“Whoever comes in and takes over is going ot be in a great situation,” Owens said.
When Owens took over Middle Creek, he found what he called a “unique situation.” The school has students from seven different mailing addresses: Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Apex, Cary and southeastern Raleigh.
The school’s softball field and tennis courts belong to the Town of Cary, but the school itself has an Apex mailing address.
He credits the school’s booster club for helping bring the program a community feel.
“We don’t have a town associated with our school, so we’re always struggling to find our identity. Our parents really work hard to try to create one. Over the years, the Stampede Club has worked their butts off to try to do that,” said Owens.
Owens said when the school began to win conference championships in multiple sports, the sense of community started to form.
Owens said he’s put in for a transfer to Green Hope or Panther Creek, the two Wake County high schools closest to his home. If not, he’ll still commute to Middle Creek next year as a physical education teacher.
Middle Creek opened in the fall of 2001, and Owens was its third athletics director. He succeeeded Mike Matthews, who entered administration. Dean Manges was the school’s first AD.
Blake: 919-460-2606 or Twitter: @JMBpreps