Yellow Jackets make Peace new AD

Jun. 26, 2013 @ 04:38 PM

After 39 years as an athletic director, teacher and coach at Lee County High School, Steve Womack is retiring, at least mostly so, from Lee County.

Reggie Peace, the Yellow Jacket boys varsity basketball head coach, has been hired as the new athletic director by new principal Keena Wilson. Peace, who's coached for 22 years, with 14 years for the Yellow Jackets, is just as loyal a Yellow Jacket as Womack has been for four decades of working for student-athletes. Womack isn't completely retiring in that capacity.

Womack has doubled as athletic director and athletic trainer on the sidelines at Yellow Jacket games. He will continue as a volunteer trainer.

"I've very excited about the opportunity and honored that I'll have the chance to serve these coaches, athletes and the community at Lee County," Peace said.

"Mr. Womack has set the bar very high and I'm going to try to keep things going the way he's always had them going," he said.

The change in athletic director comes at a time of transition in lots of ways for Lee County, primarily due to NCHSAA realignment making Lee County a 3A athletic program and moving from the Triangle-based Tri-Nine Conference to the Cape Fear Valley Conference. Lee County will join county rival Southern Lee along with Union Pines and four Fayetteville-area schools - Douglas Byrd, Gray's Creek, Terry Sanford and Westover.

"We're looking forward to joining the Cape Fear Valley 3A," Peace said. "We think there are exceptional opportunities present for us."

Peace said Jacket and Lady Jacket programs should be more competitive starting in just a couple months.

"We're looking forward to competing versus schools our size. For the past four years, we've been playing schools so much larger than us," he said.

While losing many traditional rivalries, at least in regular conference schedules, Lee County will quickly find challenging series within the Cape Fear Valley Peace said.

While Yellow Jacket athletics and the community have always been closely linked, Peace said, he wants to do more to increase community support.

"We're looking forward to getting started in August," he said. "I'm excited about the opportunity and I think Lee County athletics is looking forward to a great season."