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Coaches mourn Bond’s death

The passing of Roy Bond is cause for sadness around the state.

It is more personal amongst the men who made up his coaching staff during his 12 seasons at Bertie High School.

“To me, he was very inspirational,” said current Bertie football boss Tony Hoggard, one of those former assistants under Bond. “I admired his love for the game and I learned so much from him.”

Hoggard said he had even considered asking Bond to come back to the sidelines and help him because he knew Bond so loved football.

The current coach said Bond would always be remembered for being the man who brought two state championships to the Falcon football program.

“He rekindled the kind of football program that brought excitement to the county,” Hoggard said.

Bond always was quiet and humble, but he knew the game far better than he let on.

“You would have to be around him for a while to get an understanding of what he knew,” Hoggard said. “Once you sat down and talked to him, he had a wealth of knowledge.”

Retired Bertie football coach Willie Roberson may have spent more time coaching with Bond than anyone else. The two began coaching together on the junior varsity staff at Bertie and stayed together 12 years on the varsity level.

“The whole time I coached with him n junior varsity and varsity in basketball and football n he was always able to inspire people,” Roberson said. “Even years when we didn’t have much, he would tell people we were loaded. He was always upbeat.”

Roberson said he always appreciated the fact that Bond would let his assistants coach.

“He was the type of guy who would delegate and then let you do your job,” Roberson said. “He would sit back and, if you were the offensive line coach, that was your job. He put his trust in you and went along with your decision.”

Roberson said Bond’s two strongest attributes as a coach was his ability to motivate and his ability to judge talent.

“He was a great judge of talent,” Roberson said. “He could look at a person and sort of tell you what position they could play in football and basketball. He was the best just of talent I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Roberson also remembered Bond’s philosophy once the Falcons reached the playoffs.

“He would always say, ‘we’re in it, let’s win it’,” Roberson mused. “He had all the characteristics of an outstanding man.”

Bertie High School Baseball Coach Randy Whitaker spent all 12 seasons under Bond as well, something he said has benefited his coaching career.

“Coach Bond was a big influence on me,” he said. “After I was brought to the high school, Coach Bond took over and he was a great person to work with. He’s always been the same old Roy.”

Bobby Curlings, now the Head Football Coach at New Bern High School, was an assistant for Bond early in his time at Bertie. He said Bond taught him about life and football.

“First of all, he was a good friend and a good person, “Curlings said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say a negative thing about him.

“Coach Bond was a guy who loved to be around the kids, loved the game of football and loved life,” he continued. “Sometimes I think in this day and age you can get caught up into ‘football is life,’ but he taught me just by watching him that there’s more to life than your job.

“You can be good at your job and still be a good family man,” he continued. “You can still enjoy things like hunting and fishing. He was good at all of it.”

Marvin Rankins, who served a dual role as Athletic Director and assistant football coach, said Bond would be truly missed.

“He’s someone I’m going to really, truly miss,” Rankins said. “He is one of the best coaches Bertie High School has ever had.”

Rankins said he believed Bond would long be remembered at Bertie.

“Anytime someone looks up at the banner showing the two state football championships, they will remember Roy Bond,” he said. “They will remember how much he died for Bertie High School and the athletic program.

“Hopefully we at Bertie can do some things to keep his memory alive,” he added.