Confirmed: Castellano becomes new Raiders football coach


By Kevin Spradlin

* April 17: Interviews ongoing for new football coach
* Castellano accepts head coaching position

HAMLET — It seemed as if the whole world — or at least bulk of Raider Nation — knew about it before the scheduled start of the special meeting Wednesday morning of the Richmond County Board of Education.

Dr. Cindy Goodman, superintendent of schools, presented to board members Wiley Mabe, Jerry Ethridge, Joe Richardson and Bobbie Sue Ormsby the name of Mike Castellano as the top available choice among 37 candidates to replace Paul Hoggard as football coach for the Richmond Senior Raiders. It’s reported that the selection committee’s first choice backed out of the position.

Raiders_logo_footballHoggard resigned March 27, the same day the Chowan County Board of Education hired him to become the head coach at Holmes High School in Edenton.

Board members approved the hiring in public session after a 20-minute executive session. Richardson made a motion to approve Carter’s recommendation and Ethridge seconded the motion. The motion to hire Castellano passed with a 4-0 vote.

Castellano’s position will also be a social studies teacher at the high school. His hiring becomes official June 12 at a starting salary of $77,500. Castellation has a bachelor of arts in history and athletic coaching from Catawba College and a masters in education from Delta State University.

Goodman said she realized the high-profile nature of filling the position but didn’t necessarily agree with one news outlet’s assessment that her tenure as superintendent would be judged and scrutinized on this hiring more than another. Goodman said she believes the most important hires are the teachers in the classrooms each day.

At the same time, Goodman acknowledged the Raiders’ football success, including seven state titles, and that “we want to keep it that way.” sports journalist Chris Hughes was first to report Castellano’s hiring.

Castellano resigned Tuesday from Middle Creek in Apex, Wake County. There, he led the Mustangs to a 32-8 record over the past three seasons. Middle Creek lost 24-23 to Wake Forest in the 2013 Class 4-AA East Region championship.

Before coaching at Middl Creek, Castellano was an assistant coach for nine seasons at Coastal Carolina. He also served as an assistant at Raleigh Millbrook and North Wilkes.

The Raiders, meanwhile, fell 28-27 to Millbrook in a Class 4AA second-round playoff game last fall — in which Richmond fumbled 12 times and tossed in an interception for good measure. The potential for perfect regular season was cut short by rival Scotland in both teams’ regular season finale.

Hoggard caught a lot of flack for most any more he made, but perhaps no move garnered more controversial attention than by naming his son, Luke Hoggard, as starting quarterback for the for the 2014 season — the student-athlete’s sophomore year. The announcement was made in November 2013. Hoggard later backtracked on those comments, indicating there could be an open competition for quarterback.

Many fans also became frustrated with Hoggard’s conservative and, arguably, predicable offense.

Julian Carter, executive director of human resources for Richmond County Schools, was tasked with overseeing the selection process of the high school’s 10th football coach. Goodman Carter worked as part of an an eight-person selection committee that included Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Jeff Maples, Executive Director for Auxiliary Services Dennis Quick, Richmond Senior High School Principal Keith McKenzie, RSHS Assistant Principal Daryl Mason, RSHS Athletic Director Ricky Young and Rohannen Middle School principal and former RSHS football coach and athletic director Hal Shuler.


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