ROCKINGHAM — Today will mark a beginning and an end for both Kevin Mabe and Ricky Young.
Mabe will step down as the athletic director at Richmond Senior and fill the newly created assistant director of transportation position within the Richmond County Schools system.
Young, the school’s baseball coach, will assume the athletic director duties with Richmond’s home basketball doubleheader with Anson on Jan. 3. Young will begin his assistant principal role towards the end of January when he has completed teaching his two history classes.
“Dr. (George) Norris came to me before the last school board meeting and talked to me about the position that morning,” Mabe said. “The only thing I had on my agenda for the day was to get ready for the home basketball game with Cheraw. He told me to consider it and to talk to Ellen (his wife).”
The school board approved Mabe’s move to the new position at its Dec. 3 meeting and Young was approached with the opportunity to become Richmond’s AD.
“I met with school district officials and they offered me the job,” Young said. “I was glad to take it. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I enjoyed coaching under Kevin and I’m happy for him in his new position.”
Mabe, who took over as the school’s athletic director from Hal Shuler on July 1, 2010, added he will miss the day-to-day contact with the students and the interaction with the coaching staff.
“I’ll miss seeing the student-athletes,” Mabe said. “It has been fun watching the (Victoria) DeFrates and the (Shellie) Wimpeys grow in their positions. I will also miss working with Paul (Hoggard). He is a tremendous human being as well as a great coach.
“It will feel like for the first time I will have a job. I have been going to schools since I was 5. I will miss the kids and the coaches.”
During his 3-plus years as athletic director, Mabe has overseen the building of a permanent softball field, the repaving of the tennis courts and running track as well as the upgrading of the other on-campus athletic facilities.
“As a former student here, it has been fun to watch it grow,” Mabe said. “We replaced a lot of equipment, got the stadium repainted and started on the soccer field. It’s been fun seeing it grow.”
Before coming to Richmond, Young served as the athletic director as well as the baseball coach at West Columbus. He said he plans on easing into the position and doesn’t “foresee any big changes.”
“I think we have a great coaching staff in place,” Young said. “Coming in at the middle of the year, there’s really not a lot of things we can change. I’m going to see how things go and see if there are things I need to change. I think we have a hard-working coaching staff.”
Young believes the most pressing need is completing the work on the soccer field to make it suitable for games. He said there are plans in place and they have to “get it ready to go.”
Once Young gets settled into his new position, he plans on meeting with Keith McKenzie, the school’s principal, and his coaches to listen to their input on the direction of the athletic department and their teams.
Young said: “As we go through the year, I’m sure there will be things we will want to get done.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.