The Pinecrest High School football team will go into the fall season with a new head coach — but a familiar one.
Bob Curtin, who has been a coach at Pinecrest for eight years, was approved as the Patriots’ interim head coach by the Moore County Board of Education last month. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Curtin met with the team after being named.
“I’ve been brought up that you have to serve,” he said. “My whole adult life, I served our country in whatever little capacity that was my role,” Curtin said of his time in the U.S. Army. “I believe now my role is to serve my community, to serve my school.”
Pinecrest athletic director Jeff Hewitt said Curtin will serve in that capacity through this coming season, and the search for the program’s next head coach will take place next offseason.
Curtin replaces Chris Metzger, who spent 14 seasons overseeing the school’s football program. He announced his resignation last month to take a similar position in Montgomery County.
Curtin has been a fixture at most sporting events at Pinecrest, and often has filled in with operations at sporting events when the need arises.
“Bob is always stepping up for the good of Pinecrest High School,” Hewitt said. “Whether it was being there to drive the girls’ soccer team to a game at Lumberton, he has never not been a team player.”
Curtin has served as the head wrestling coach at the school for six years, and has 12 years of experience coaching in Moore County. That familiarity is something that Hewitt said stood out about Curtin when it came to relating to the players.
“The caliber of leader Bob Curtin is, having been with the program and the seniors having him as a coach in the past, will mean the world to these kids,” Hewitt said. “It’s going to be much easier with this transition to work off the foundation that (former) coach (Chris) Metzger set in place. These coaches really want to keep that going here.”
The Patriots enter a new era without Metzger, and also a new conference this coming season. The new conference will include in-county rival Union Pines, familiar conference opponents in Richmond, Scotland and Hoke County, as well as the addition of Lee County and Southern Lee.
Hewitt’s reference to Curtin’s leadership goes further than his time as a coach, but his service in the Army as well. His guidance with a young group of coaches will be just as important.
“I’m excited to see the young coaches learn from coach Curtin, and this will allow them to grow as coaches, while coach Curtin allows us to find the person to be our next head football coach,” Hewitt said. “Anytime you can have a retired Army lieutenant colonel leading a group of men, that’s something that I feel really good about.”
Curtin grew up in Long Island, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1986 and began his career with the Army Rangers as a private in the 75th Ranger Regiment. In 2005, he was assigned to Fort Bragg, where he led and commanded special missions units within the Joint Special Operations Command. He retired from the Army after 24 years of service.
Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.