Bond bids Bertie farewell

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WINDSOR – Roy has left the sidelines.

Roy Bond, Bertie High School’s legendary football skipper, ended his 12-year stint at the helm of the Falcon program by announcing his retirement this past weekend.

&uot;I’m going to step aside and let somebody else step in,&uot; Bond said. &uot;I’m enjoying sitting around doing nothing.

&uot;I get up at 10 o’clock and watch the Price is Right and then I go work on the farm if I want to and I don’t do anything if I don’t want to,&uot; Bond said.

The coach, who ended his 30-plus-year tenure as a teacher in December, said he was simply enjoying his retirement too much to end it in August.

&uot;I’m going to miss coaching,&uot; he said. &uot;I considered coming back and just coaching, but I decided it was about the right time to step down.&uot;

During his dozen years as the helm of Bertie football, Bond’s Falcons claimed a pair of North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Championships and half a dozen conference titles.

While posting a 101-35 mark, Bond was known for his quiet demeanor away from the game and a brash, hard-nosed style when it came to football matters.

In a recent interview about Bond, Bertie County Schools Athletic Director Willie Roberson said Bond seemed quiet until discussions turned to football.

&uot;He’s sort of quiet,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;If you didn’t know him, you’d think he doesn’t talk.

&uot;But, he has a big heart and a football savvy that can’t be matched,&uot; Roberson added. &uot;He’s the type of guy who is not extraordinarily vocal, but when it comes to the game of football, his entire temperament changes. He goes from a lamb to a lion about 7:30 on Friday nights during the football season.&uot;

Bond said he would assist the new coach with the transition, if that new coach came from his existing staff.

&uot;If they want some help with the offense or some other area, I’ll help them,&uot; he said.

The coach said another factor in his decision was that football season and hunting season overlapped.

&uot;I haven’t had a good hunting season in 20-some years,&uot; he laughed.

For their part, Bertie High School administrators are sad to see the end of an era, but appreciative of what Bond has accomplished.

&uot;He’s done a lot of good things for the athletic program at Bertie,&uot; Athletic Administrator Ricky Eley said. &uot;Coach Bond has had a positive impact on the kids and he will definitely be missed.&uot;

Eley said even though coach Bond had talked about retirement for the nine years he has been at Bertie, he was still caught off guard by the decision.

&uot;He’s been retiring ever since I came here in 1995,&uot; Eley said. &uot;Still, I didn’t actually believe it until I heard him say the words to me at the end of last week.&uot;

The coach said Bond will leave a lasting legacy.

&uot;I’ve been here nine years and, for the most part, we have had the same coaching staff,&uot; Eley said. &uot;I think that is a tribute to his style and ability to keep good people around him.

&uot;If there is anything that coach Bond is known for, he allowed his coaching staff to coach,&uot; Eley added.

The search for a successor is already under way at Bertie. Eley said the school needed to move quickly because they wanted to have someone in place in plenty of time for next season.

Roberson and Bertie High School Athletic Director Marvin Rankins were out of town at an Athletic Directors Conference and unavailable for comment.