Beloved community teacher and coach Perry Lloyd of Elkin High School will retire on Feb. 28, at least officially.
Lloyd began his career at Elkin in 1987 as a history teacher, wrestling coach and football coach with Head Coach Richard Grissom in 1987.
Lloyd called coaching and teaching “the same thing.” He said the purpose of a teacher is “to teach somebody to be successful.” Coaching and teaching apparently likes him.
Former students and athletes return to work near him such as Elkin High School Principal Joel Hoyle and wrestling coaches such as Dale Bartley, Adam Beshears and Cory Combs. He named coaching former state champion 2010 wrestler Aaron Rabin, and state wrestlers Chris O’Toole, Josh Price, Todd Brown and Alex Lazaro Lopez as career highlights.
Lloyd called two-time Associated Press All-State High School Elkin football player Terry Adams his “adopted son.” Adams earned All-Conference Big South while at Liberty University and works in juvenile justice in Washington, D.C.
Lloyd elaborated another special career moment as watching former Elkin football player Russell Stewart play at his Alma mater Washington & Lee University.
His main method is teaching habits to help a person be successful to accomplish their mission in the path they choose, said Lloyd.
He said he has enjoyed the privilege of coaching the “best of both worlds.” He recalled with a smile on his face a real highlight of his career being when the 2004 wrestling team “came out of nowhere” with 15 on the roster and pulled together as a team in 14 weight classes to take the first state championship since 1967.
“I am blessed,” said Lloyd.
He has been part of four state football championships, two as a defensive line coach and two as defensive line coach and coordinator with Grissom.
Lloyd described wrestling as the ideal individual sport that can teach dedication, desire, drive and everything one needs to be successful. He explained that football is the ideal team sport in that it draws a group of men together to achieve a common goal.
Lloyd said he felt better about retirement knowing that Matt Dunn, assistant physical education teacher at Elkin Elementary, will be hired as wrestling coach this fall.
“There is not a better coach in the state in my mind,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd is a father of three and grandfather. One of his grandsons wrestles competitively at age 5. Lloyd’s wife, Penny Lloyd, described their family as a “sports family” and her husband, as a “man who takes every kid under his wing.”
The coach said it was time for a change but expects to volunteer in the community upon retirement. In his spare time, Lloyd said he does enjoy music.
However, he added, “My hobby is coaching.”
Elkin High School will wrestle rival Starmount at the Carpenter Gymnasium beginning at 7 p.m. and expect a big showing. Lloyd also is assistant coach for Elkin Middle School, which will wrestle on the Carpenter mat at 4 p.m.
Reach Tanya Chilton at 835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.