CONCORD – Late last season, the Concord High School boys basketball team was arguably the second-best club in Cabarrus County, and many were expecting the Spiders to be title contenders in what should be a wide-open South Piedmont 3A Conference next year.
But first, the school will have to replace the reigning SPC coach of the year.
The Independent Tribune has learned that Jason Stowe has resigned from the position after four seasons coaching Spiders.
Stowe, a Concord graduate and one of 19 1,000-point scorers in program history, said his decision to leave the team had nothing to do with the pending graduation of his son, Jordan. He said he made the move for other personal reasons.
“Basically, it’s a lot of things, but at this time I think it’s what’s best for me,” Stowe said Monday, declining to go into detail. “I’m just going to explore my options, see what else is out there. I may coach again next year, or I may not. But right now, I’m just focusing on getting through this school year.
“My oldest son (Jaylen) is home, and I want to help get him a spot overseas and help get Jordan off to college,” Stowe continued. “Then I’ll go from there.”
Concord athletics director Greg Liddle was traveling during the holiday and unavailable for comment on Monday afternoon.
Jaylen Stowe starred at Hickory Ridge High before going on to play at Mercer University. Jordan Stowe spent three years at Concord and has signed to play at Point Park University, an NAIA program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In his four seasons at Concord, Jason Stowe compiled a record of 64-47. His best season came in the 2015-16 campaign, when the Spiders went 23-5 and finished second in the SPC behind eventual state champion Jay M. Robinson.
Last season, Stowe earned the league’s top coaching award after guiding the team to a 16-12 record and third-place conference finish. The Spiders were at their best late in the season, winning six of their final eight contests. They were eliminated from the Class 3A state tournament in the third round by another SPC squad, then-back-to-back state champ Cox Mill.
Many players from the 2018-19 squad were underclassmen eligible to return, increasing expectations for the coming season, particularly with Cox Mill being ravaged by graduation and the departure of coach Jody Barbee.
Stowe said he wasn’t fearful of those expectations, adding that he felt good about his tenure at Concord.
“This is one of the toughest jobs in the county, and for the last four years, it’s been, ‘Go to the state championship or bust,’” Stowe said. “For my four years, I felt like I got 20 years of experience; I learned a lot. I made a lot of mistakes, but the most important thing of all is I developed a lot of relationships with kids. A lot of kids went to (college), not necessarily to play basketball, but they went to school or to the military. That’s the most important part to me.”
Because of those relationships, Stowe said, it was difficult to tell his players this week that he was leaving.
“It was tough,” he said. “Just talking to the kids in the locker room was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, particularly with the senior class that’s coming up. We really developed great relationships, and we came close. And we’re still close. We’ve still got great relationships, and I’m going to try to help get those guys get into college.”