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. The decision by Spain, who declined to commit for this story, surprised Jordan, especially after she led the Caps to a 20-8 record and a second-place finish in the Cap Eight 4A conference last season.
“I thought I performed well, but he makes the decisions,” Jordan said of Spain. “I was surprised.”
Jordan wasn’t the only one.
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Chris East, the girls’ basketball coach at Millbrook, 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 most successful programs in the past decade. The Caps won five conference titles, reached the playoffs nine times and advanced to the East regional final twice. Jordan said one of her best memories was when the Caps won the 4A state championship in 2005.
“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, Jordan was able to get her Caps to compete with teams who had taller players. Broughton’s tallest player was 5 foot 9. Jordan used a combination of full-court press, box-and-one and extended man-to-man defenses to led the Caps to victory.
“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 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,” East said. “To me, the coach of the year goes above and behind what’s expected. It’s who gets the most out of their kids. She did the best job.”
East and his Millbrook Wildcats went on to in the state championship last season. The Wildcats did suffer one of their two losses to Broughton on Jan. 20. In that game, 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 say she could motivate. Emily Newton, a senior, said she felt Jordan became better each year.
“She was a good coach,” said Newton, who was also 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’s 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 wound would be ringing.”