DUBLIN — For the fifth time in the last several seasons, West Bladen High is looking for a new head football coach after a letter of resignation was received on Monday from Todd Pait.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to resign from my position as head football coach due to unforeseen and personal family circumstances,”Pait stated in his letter. “The only reason that I would ever leave my West Bladen family and my community for a second time is for my children’s sake. I wanted to bring them to Bladen County and give them the same sort of amazing upbringing that I enjoyed here, but unfortunately that will not be the case.”
Pait came to West Bladen from Class 3-A Sycamore High School in Tennessee and led the Knights to a 2-9 season — a season that was filled with injuries almost from the start. But Pait said his experience with the West Bladen football team was nothing short of phenomenal.
“I knew it would be challenging, especially for a first-year head coach, but what I discovered upon my arrival was an amazing school full of superb educators and outstanding young men and women,” Pait said. “Every day I have had the opportunity to work with these outstanding people has been a pleasure.”
Pait said he has accepted a position at Class 5-A Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn., as the varsity football team’s defensive coordinator.
“While I will no longer be serving as the head football coach I will always be a West Bladen Knight,” he said. “I will always bleed purple, black, and silver no matter where my future takes me.”
Pait’s resignation is effective with the end of the current school year, and the administration will begin the search immediately.
“I can promise you that the administration will find the perfect candidate for the job and I will do everything in my power to ease the transition in the months to come,” Pait said in his letter. “I know there is success in the future at West Bladen and it breaks my heart that I will not be able to be a part of it.”
Going forward, Pait said he thinks he was at least able to keep a lot of the positive things started by previous head coach Russell Dove in place. He also thinks the Knights can move forward with some good players.
“They have some good pieces; there are at least three players who can play anywhere,” said Pait, who spent time this week meeting with the players one on one. “But I also know West Bladen needs someone who will stay here long-term — I was really hoping that would be me, but things happen.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.