North Brunswick High School held its annual spring sports banquet last week to recognize all of its student-athletes and coaches for their hard work this season, while paying special attention to the Scorpions’ track team for claiming the 2A state championship over the weekend for the second year in a row.
The occasion also served as a special night for longtime Coach Garry Bishop. North Brunswick Athletic Director Randy Fennell announced that the football stadium and track complex on the campus in Leland will be named in honor of Bishop, who stepped down from coaching football in March.
“First of all it was a big surprise to get this honor and I really didn’t see it coming,” said Bishop. “I feel honored and feel like it’s something that doesn’t happen to happen every day, but this is just a testament to what we’ve been able to build over the years throughout to the program and the standards we’ve tried to set from when I took over.
“A lot of things go through your mind when you get this distinction–all my family, all the great coaches, who I want to thank personally. Without them, I wouldn’t been in this position.”
While Bishop plans to remain the school’s track coach moving forward, Bishop decided to retire as teacher and head of the football program after more than two decades.
“There are a lot of emotions right now as the time flew by,” said Bishop. “I really didn’t even know I was up for retirement and didn’t think about it to much because things were going good and its hard to leave the kids. Like I told everyone,’When is it going to be a good time?’ There’s never really a right time. We have great group coming up and I want to leave the next coach with a foundation so I’m content with my decisions.”
Bishop, who took over leading the Scorpions’ football team in 1993, has now helped guide the North Brunswick track team to four straight state titles (two indoor, two outdoor).
“We have fantastic kids,” said Bishop. “They’re hard workers, very respectful; no discipline issues in or out of school. When you can win state titles with a group like that, it makes even more special.”
He is credited with turning around a program that enjoyed just one winning season in the two decades leading up to his time on the sidelines in Leland. He finished his career with a 155-94 record and served as the longest tenured coach among the high school football teams in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.