Gardner-Webb University announces head football coach Carroll McCray will not return

Gardner-Webb University announces head football coach Carroll McCray will not return
Carroll McCray at Big South Football Media Day (Source: WBTV)

Press release provided by Gardner-Webb University

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.– Gardner-Webb University announced Sunday that Carroll McCray would not return as head football coach following seven seasons at the helm.

“As we move on to the next chapter for our football program, we owe a debt of gratitude to Carroll McCray for his time here as head coach,” said Gardner-Webb president Dr. William Downs. “No one has worked harder for these young men and this institution. Significant improvements within the program have been made, particularly in the classroom. For that we are very thankful.”

“Our plan is to move accurately and decisively in the search for our next head coach. This hire is of extreme importance,” added Downs.

McCray won 27 games during his time in charge of his alma mater’s football team, including five wins over nationally-ranked teams during his seven seasons. In 2013 McCray led Gardner-Webb to wins over Furman, No. 11 Richmond, No. 8 Wofford and No. 12 Charleston Southern. He added wins over ranked foes in both 2015 (No. 15 Liberty) and 2016 (No. 8 Charleston Southern).

"Most every college football player who plans to get into coaching dreams of the chance to coach his alma mater,” said McCray, a 1983 graduate of the school. “Coaching at Gardner-Webb was a dream of mine that was achieved, and for that I am grateful. I do feel that we left the program in much better shape than we found it. I hope each and every young man who played for us knows how much we cared about them on and off the field.”

McCray and his staff mentored 43 All-Big South Conference selections and saw 25 student-athletes earn FCS All-America honors.

Defensive end Shaquille Riddick was named National FCS Defensive Line Performer of the Year in 2013 and was eventually taken in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Quarterback Tyrell Maxwell was named 2016 Big South Offensive Player of the Year, Jaylan Foster was named 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year and John Singleton was named 2018 Big South Defensive Freshman of the Year.

“I want to thank Carroll for his commitment to Gardner-Webb, his student-athletes and coaching staff during his seven seasons with us,” said Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch. “Nobody would ever question his care for this place, nor the dedication to rolling up his sleeves to make things better here. I wish him well in whatever the future holds for he and his family.”

A comprehensive, expeditious search for Gardner-Webb University’s next head football coach will begin immediately.

Gardner-Webb University is a founding member of the Big South Conference (football) and is a two-time conference champion.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.