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McCauley leaves Graham football position
February 1, 2012North Carolina
By Bob Sutton, Burlington Times-News
GRAHAM — This time, Mike McCauley really is gone as Graham’s football coach.
After a false alarm last summer, McCauley resigned from his position following seven seasons in charge of the Red Devils.
“I just decided it was time for a change,” he said Monday. “I had resigned in the summer and changed my mind and decided that I needed to be (at Graham).
“I gave it some thought since the season ended. That’s what’s best for me and for Graham.”
The Red Devils never won more than four games in a season under McCauley. But he said he relished the overall experience that approached two decades at the school and included two trips to state championship games while he was on the coaching staff.
Last summer in the days prior to the start of preseason practice, McCauley had a flirtation with an assistant coach’s opening at Orange on former Graham coach Pat Moser’s staff. There were reports that McCauley, who was the defensive coordinator under Moser when Graham won the Class 1-A state championship in 2000, was headed to Orange before he ended up staying with the Red Devils.
McCauley said last summer that he had heard feedback from different parts of the state suggesting he was leaving the Graham position. Now, that has become a reality.
“It was a good situation for all involved,” he said of 17 years working with the football program. “It’s just the right time for all involved. The opportunities and experiences I had at Graham I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
Athletics director Mike Williams called the latest development “pretty much a surprise.” Applications are being accepted through the middle of February, Williams said.
Graham principal Charlotte Holmes didn’t return messages to address the football coaching position.
McCauley’s teams went 24-56. The Red Devils were unable to compete with success on the scoreboard against some bigger schools in non-conference competition and that took a toll by the time they made their way into Mid-State 2-A Conference play.
Graham had a 16-24 record in league games the past seven seasons.
With Western Alamance and Eastern Alamance emerging on the state scene and conference rival Cummings High School remaining a prominent program, the Red Devils have had difficulty gaining traction against schools within Alamance County. Graham went 7-28 against in-county competition under McCauley.
The Red Devils tended to perk up by the end of some seasons. They won four regular-season finales in the last five years.
McCauley’s final season was his best by percentage as Graham finished 4-7. But the Red Devils missed the state playoffs for the third year in a row.
McCauley, 48, teaches exceptional students at Graham. He said he hopes to be coaching football again.
“Opportunities will arise and I’ll move on to something that’s a good fit,” he said.
Williams said weight-training will likely resume next week for football players with assistant coaches overseeing those sessions.
There had been considerable staff turnover in the football program the past several years.
“That was certainly an issue,” McCauley said.
Bill Hynus, who was the head coach at Orange for seven seasons and spent 17 years overall at Orange, has been on McCauley’s staff since 2007.