GCHS coach succumbs

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, November 14, 2017

GATESVILLE – Wayne Hathaway, Gates County High School varsity boy’s basketball coach, collapsed here Saturday during a fund-raising event held at the school and was later pronounced dead. He was 40.

Hathaway was a Gates County native, and 1995 graduate of the high school. He later studied at Elizabeth City State University where he was still currently enrolled while pursuing his teaching certification bachelor’s degree in special education.

He was first hired by Gates County Schools as a substitute teacher in 2010 and in January of that same school year (2011) he became a teaching assistant with the county’s exceptional children’s program, according to program director Chante Jordan.

“You don’t replace a Wayne Hathaway,” a grieving Jordan said on Monday. “He gave his all, and he valued education; he will be sincerely missed.”

Gates County High School boy’s varsity basketball coach and teacher Wayne Hathaway died suddenly Saturday night. He was 40. | Photo by William Anthony

Hathaway, a cousin of Gates County Sheriff Randy Hathaway, began coaching as a volunteer assistant at the high school in 2011.  In 2012 he was named as assistant junior varsity coach at the high school and became head j.v. coach in 2013.  He succeeded Charlie Mitchell as varsity head coach in 2014.

In his first season as head coach Hathaway guided the Red Barons to a 21-4 mark and a share of the 1A Coastal 10 Conference championship with Camden County when both schools finished 16-2 in league play.

The following season the ‘Barons were 17-1 in conference, winning 19 in a row after a loss to Elizabeth City Northeastern in the News-Herald Holiday Classic.  The team’s only loss came in the championship game of the conference tournament. They were the number-two seed in the East during the 2015-16 NCHSAA playoffs, but lost in the second round to Kestral Heights of Durham.

Hathaway, who was beginning his fourth season at the helm of the basketball program, had an overall record as head coach entering this season of 61-17.  He was also an assistant coach in football.

“I had known him for a while when I was coaching baseball,” said Gates County High principal Jonathan Hayes. “He worked with students and mentored people. A lot of people knew him more for coaching and didn’t know that side of him.  They probably don’t realize the impact he had on people’s lives. This is a tough loss not just for his immediate family, but also for our community.”

Hayes said pastors and counselors were available for students and staff on Monday as word of Hathaway’s untimely passing spread throughout the school.

Hathaway is survived by his wife, Monica, also a teaching assistant and lab facilitator with Gates County Schools, where she also works in the school’s technical department.  The couple has three children: one at the high school and two enrolled at Central Middle School.