CONCORD – Concord High has filled two key coaching vacancies at the school.
Athletics director Greg Liddle told the Independent Tribune on Thursday that Hickory Ridge JV coach Cory Childress will be the Spiders’ new varsity baseball coach, while former North Rowan girls basketball coach Brian Lytton takes over the Concord girls program.
Concord will be Childress’ first head varsity job after spending the past seven years as Hickory Ridge’s JV coach. He’s also been head coach of the Concord Post 51 Junior American Legion Baseball team and currently is an assistant with the Senior squad.
Childress replaces Shane Brown, who resigned to become the head coach at Indian Trail Porter Ridge. The Spiders finished 6-16 overall and 2-13 in the South Piedmont 3A Conference last season.
Childress, an Appalachian State graduate, comes in with a reputation as a bright young coach. The Yadkinville native regularly produced winners with the Hickory Ridge JV team, compiling a record of 89-24 since 2013. Only twice did his Ragin’ Bulls lose more than three games – five in 2013 and six in 2014.
On two occasions, Childress had the Post 51 Juniors on the brink of winning a state title.
“We’re fortunate to have Cory,” Liddle said. “He’s an up-and-coming young coach. He’s one that can relate to the kids. I think that where we are baseball-wise, kind of trying to build on what Coach Brown started here, Cory’s a good choice to come in and work with the kids.
“We’ve got some young talent, and having that Legion connection, he knows some of our kids, so that does play to his advantage,” Liddle added. “Obviously, he’s going to have to work a little bit harder to develop some baseball talent and different things, but … I think he’s a good choice to come in here and start doing that for us.”
Because of a lack of physical education positions at Concord, Liddle said, Childress will continue to teach at Hickory Ridge for at least part of the upcoming school year.
Lytton, 48, is a coaching a veteran with a reputation for rebuilding programs. In 2012, he inherited a struggling North Rowan program and turned it into a consistent winner. In four seasons, Lytton had a 64-32 record, which included a Central Carolina Conference championship.
Lytton left North Rowan in 2016 to become an assistant to former Wake Forest star Rusty LaRue at West Forsyth High School, where he also was the boys JV coach.
Liddle said Lytton was just the right fit for a Concord program that will now have its third coach in four years.
Todd Tinsley coached the Spiders over the past two seasons after Scott Parkin left for Hopewell High. Concord has gone 20-55 the last three years, which includes a 5-33 mark in conference play.
“(Lytton) had that background of we need somebody that can come in and take a program that needs to be built back up and get the girls back in the gym on a regular basis,” Liddle said. “He had a pretty good run up at North Rowan of taking a team that won four or five games and turning it around and winning 17, 18 games and a couple tournaments up there in Rowan.
“As we talked to him, we knew it was going to be a fit that we needed to go with.”
Lytton will also be a math teacher at Concord.