Longtime Lee County baseball coach Charlie Spivey won’t be stepping onto McCracken Field this season, at least not as head coach. The 32-year Yellow Jackets skipper informed the administration of his decision in October but wanted the news to go under the radar.
“I didn’t want to make a big deal about it,” said Spivey, 61.
Jevon Wade will coach Lee County this season.
Spivey guided the Yellow Jackets to more than 500 wins and N.C. High School Athletic Association championships in 1996 and 2001. Lee County made the state semifinals as recently as 2015 and 2010.
The 20th and 15th year reunions for both championship teams was in November. Spivey gave those teams their original jerseys from those years, and then, for the first time, announced his retirement to a group of people.
“I’ve been praying about it for awhile,” Spivey said. “Originally I had planned to teach the whole year, but I had knee replacement surgery over Thanksgiving, so all I’m doing now is driver’s ed.”
As he continued coaching, Spivey said his priorities shifted. It’s sound advice for young coaches, too.
“The most important thing now is to establish a relationship with each one of your kids. Get to know them and try to talk to each kid every day,” Spivey said. “When I first started coaching, it was all about winning for me. I had a big ego back in ’84. But as I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, it’s the relationships that you continue after coaching that are going to last a lifetime.”