Gerald Melton thought he was stepping away from boys basketball coaching when he resigned his position at Bunn High last summer. But Monday, the 19-year varsity coaching veteran was named as the East Wake High boys coach.
“I thought I needed to step away,” said Melton, who had a 270-113 record at Bunn and 14 consecutive trips to the playoffs. “But once I got away, I realized this is what I do.”
Melton said he took a position teaching physical education at East Wake with no idea that the boys head coaching position would become open. He left his Bunn to be closer to parents.
Even after the East Wake position opened, Melton wasn’t sure he wanted to return to coaching so quickly.
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“This has been a big surprise to me,” he said. “I thought I was going to get a break, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Melton is a Bunn High graduate who began his coaching career at Southern Nash. He coached there for four years before going to Bunn.
“I will cherish my years at Bunn forever,” Melton said. “I have such great memories of coaching there. I learned so much from (Bunn football coach David Howle). He taught me how to build program.”
East Wake athletics director Jonathan Hasbrouck said the school is thrilled to get Melton, who also is coaching the girls tennis team this fall.
“You just look at what he accomplished at Bunn and you’re impressed,” Hasbrouck said. “You look at 15 straight seasons in the playoffs, all of his coach of the year awards, all the conference championships and you hear about his program’s reputation. We’re excited to have him here.”
Melton said he is thankful to be offered the position.
“I needed to be in the Wendell area to be closer to my parents and East Wake hired me as a teacher,” he said. “I never thought I’d be coaching basketball this soon. It is amazing how it worked out.”