High School Sports

Holly Springs, Heritage name football coaches

Dewayne Washington, right, seen here being congratulated by Pittsburgh teammate Mitch Lyons (85) after returning a first quarter interception off Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell for a touchdown on Sunday, Nov. 22, 1998, is the new Heritage High football coach.
Dewayne Washington, right, seen here being congratulated by Pittsburgh teammate Mitch Lyons (85) after returning a first quarter interception off Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell for a touchdown on Sunday, Nov. 22, 1998, is the new Heritage High football coach. AP

Ravenscroft School assistant football coach Dewayne Washington was named coach at Heritage High on Monday and Holly Springs assistant Robert Furth was named as the Golden Hawks’ coach on Tuesday.

Both are expected to lead their squads through a 10-day spring practice this month.

Washington is a former Northern Durham High, N.C. State and NFL standout as a defensive back. He has been an assistant for Ravens coach Ned Gonet for three seasons. Washington’s son, D.J., is student body president at Ravenscroft and is not expected to transfer to Heritage.

“I think that you are seeing a trend among former pro players going into high school coaching so they can make a difference in young people’s lives,” Dewayne Washington said. “I know that is why I’m doing it. I want to have an impact on young people and to be there when they need me.”

Washington was a high school All-America selection at Northern Durham, where he played for Ken Browning. Washington was a standout at N.C. State and played 12 years in the NFL, four years each with the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers and one each with Jacksonville and Kansas City.

He believes he is inheriting a solid program. The Huskies were 8-4 in 2014.

“I think Jason McGeorge built a great foundation at Heritage,” Washington said. “I have talked a lot with Charles Johnson (a former Steelers teammate and current Heritage assistant). The processes are in place.”

The Heritage staff will have three former NFL players – Washington, Johnson and former N.C. State receiver Torry Holt, whose son will be a freshman at Heritage.

“But we can’t play,” Washington said and laughed. “We probably couldn’t survive one practice.”

Furth, like Washington, is a former N.C. State player. He was a running back for Wolfpack coach Dick Sheridan and was a graduate assistant coach at the school for three years.

He later coached for Gary Fowler at Clayton High, at Fayetteville State, back at Clayton, at Cary and for one year at Holly Springs under Wayne Bragg, who resigned after a single season.

“One of the biggest reasons I wanted the head coaching job was continuity for the kids,” Furth said. “I will be their third coach in four years. I want to put down roots here and be here as long as they will have me.”

Bragg was establishing a solid program, Furth said, and he wants to continue it.

“Wayne did a tremendous job with the players, parents and community in communicating our goals,” Furth said. “The wins and losses come and go, but being on the team has to be a positive experience. Hopefully, they will learn a lot of look back with good memories.”

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