CoW: John Kirby

CHARLOTTE, NC --- The Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Week program recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, school and community. This program also provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

To kick off the Coach of the Week program for the 2010 season, the Carolina Panthers have selected John Kirby, head football coach at Eastern Alamance High School, as the first 2010 Coach of the Week recipient.

Coach John Kirby has been getting it done for 25 years at Eastern Alamance not only on the field, but off the field as well. John started coaching in 1985 and in 1992 became the head coach. He's been named Mid-State Conference Coach of the year six times, Regional Coach of the year four times and NC Preps 3A Coach of the Year once.

While Coach Kirby has had an exceptional coaching career, he and his staff understand it takes much more than wins on the field to be successful. "Hard work, having a good attitude and doing the little things correct will make you successful in football and in life", says Coach Kirby. In addition he adds, "Football is something players will remember for the rest of their lives. Years from now, when they gather at reunions or just see each other, football will be the topic of conversation and stories of success will be stretched, however the common bond that has been made will last forever".

Besides being the head football coach, Coach Kirby's school and community effort are substantial. In the community, John serves on several committees in Mebane for the recreation department and has also coached Little League baseball, basketball and softball. He also coordinates a summer youth football camp each year. The high school football team hosts' "Meet the Eagles", where players give out shirts and mentor younger kids. They also host a youth night where youth football teams are involved and engaged with the varsity players during pregame and then play a game at halftime.

"John has helped many young men become successful, not only in athletics, but in life. His is respected by his peers, his players and the community. John has a positive effect on everyone he comes in contact with. He has the utmost character and integrity, and instills this into his players", said Principal Dave Ebert of Eastern Alamance High School.

Along with his coaching responsibilities, John is also a teacher and "jack of all trades". Said Principal Dave Ebert, "John teaches our exceptional children here at Eastern Alamance. He is an outstanding teacher and asset to our staff". He also covers classes for his colleagues, assists with student supervision even when not scheduled, sells tickets and helps with other sporting events."

This season, the Eagles are off to a 5-0 mark and continue to grow their reputation as having one of the strongest and most consistent teams in their conference.

In recognition of Coach Kirby, Carolina Panthers Charities will donate $1,000 to the Eastern Alamance High School's athletic department. All of this year's winners will be honored with an on-field presentation during the Panthers home game versus the Arizona Cardinals on December 19, 2010. At that time, the 2010 Coach of the Year will be announced and the winning coach will receive an additional $2,000 grant for his school's athletic department.

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