Princeton will need a new face to lead the next chapter of its highly successful football run of the past three seasons.
Derrick Minor, who led Princeton to a top-five ranking in the state this past season, announced in a statement Tuesday that he has accepted the head coaching position at Rockingham County High School.
“The Lord is calling my family to another challenge,” Minor said in a written statement. “I have accepted the head coach position at Rockingham County High School and will begin at the end of February. This decision was made with much prayer and conversation with friends that I have developed here and family.
“The school will be 30 minutes away from my kids’ grandparents and my family. This will be sort of a homecoming for us.”
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The Bulldogs were 26-15 over the past season under Minor’s leadership. After Minor took the coaching position in 2012, Princeton made an improbable run to the state 1A eastern regional championships. After going just 2-8 during the regular season, the Bulldogs won three straight playoff games to reach the state semifinals. Princeton was 24-7 under Minor since the start of the 2012 state playoffs.
Nine- and 12-win seasons followed for a Princeton team built around a stellar class of 2015 that included Johnny Frasier, one of the top-rated running backs in the country.
Princeton’s only losses in 2014 were to eventual state 1AA champion Wallace-Rose Hill and state semifinalist James Kenan.
“To watch the young men commit themselves to being the best football players they could be, and also the best person they could be max made all the sacrifice and any of the struggles well worth it,” Minor said of his time at Princeton. “Three years ago, I was told at a boosters meeting that, ‘We want football here at Princeton.’ I am blessed to say that I believe that mission has been accomplished.”
The Princeton opening is the third Johnston County high school head coaching position that’s become available this winter. Smithfield-Selma and Corinth Holders are expected to name new coaches soon.