Alumni Update: Craig Dawson

At Wake Forest, Craig Dawson was known as one of the best pure shooters to ever wear the Wake uniform with a career three point percentage of almost 40%. Dawson, who once hit 11 threes in a game against Clemson, is currently putting the education he received at Wake on the court (and in the classroom) to good use as the head coach of the nearby Forsyth Country Day varsity basketball team.

After a very successful first season as coach of the Furies, Craig Dawson is looking forward to a good season despite losing five seniors from last year's team. "I am feeling confident despite losing five kids from last year's team and, even though it will be hard to replace them, with Tyler Lewis back that is a big plus for us."

Lewis, a class of 2012 point guard, is on the recruiting radar of most ACC schools and has picked up a handful of early offers. "Tyler is a leader," Dawson said, "and will help bring the younger guys around and will do whatever it takes to win whether that be scoring, playing defense, or just making great passes to his teammates."

This past year, Lewis helped Coach Dawson and FCD beat rival Greensboro Day an astounding three times, the Furies' first victories over that school in 17 years. "After beating them at a summer camp coming into the last season, we felt confident we could do so in the season and it helped us calm our nerves when we did face them playing for keeps," Dawson said. The Kinston, NC native said that he feels that they played a tough schedule last year including national perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, who had the best player Craig saw last year in Doron Lamb who recently committed to Kentucky, Christ School, Flora McDonald and on and on.

Undoubtedly that helped them prepare for the tough conference games they had to play during the season and in the tournament. "No question it made us better to have played some outstanding basketball teams and I think all our players enjoyed the experience," he noted.

The analogy can be made that FCD was like a lower Division one school with some good players having to play a Wake Forest who has a talented and deep roster all the way from players 1-13 while lower division schools don't have the luxury of that kind of depth. "We stress to our players to do what they can do, whether that is rebounding, scoring, playing tough defense or whatever they can do well and not try to do things they can't."

Playing that way can keep a less deep team in most games if the players understand their roles and that is something they do at FCD. "We led Oak Hill at the half but like you mentioned, their depth just overpowered us in the 2nd half when we got a little tired."

Asked about his Wake Forest experience, Dawson admitted that it was "just a great time in my life except for some injuries" and something he would heartily recommend to any student/athlete wanting the best of education and athletics. "I wouldn't trade my experiences at Wake for anything and feel it has made me a better coach and more importantly a better person for having done so," he noted.

Like most coaches, Craig has aspirations beyond high school coaching and would one day like to coach at the collegiate level. "I would love to coach at the college level some day but have a good job here at Forsyth Country Day and hope to be here for a while before that day comes." For Deacon fans, Craig Dawson is an example of why we are proud of our program and University, he has accomplished a lot already at a young age on the court as a player and a coach but also has done himself and us proud off the court.

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