Former N.C. State basketball player Danny Strong has been tabbed as Fuquay-Varinas next boys basketball coach.
Strong, who finished playing for the Wolfpack in 1997 and more recently wrapped up a 15-year playing career overseas, replaces Randy Barrow, who had been the Bengals coach for the last five seasons but resigned.
Strong, who lives in Fuquay-Varina, takes over a program that was 1-21 this past season and is 21-121 over the last six years.
Youve got to get it turned around by bringing it positive energy, Strong said. Youve got to bring in confidence. I think theyre missing confidence. I think, losing so many games, you go into games expecting to lose now. Youve got to change the mentality of the team, the fans, the faculty everyone whos involved with it.
Strong has played overseas in Italy, France and Spain. But more recently, hes bought a house in Fuquay-Varina, and has started a non-profit called the Strong Center for Excellence, which offers basketball skills training with emphasis on life skills.
I wanted to get back into the community, Strong said. I knew it was something I wanted to do after basketball. I loved playing the game and as the years went on, I did some coaching too a player-coach kind of deal at the professional level in Europe.
Strong has also been an assistant coach for Southeast Raleigh, and said he wants to run his program much of the way Bulldogs head coach John Baker Jr. does.
Strong has recently been added to the school staff as a teachers assistant.