ICARD — Mark Buffamoyer has stepped down as East Burke football head coach after three seasons.
Buffamoyer told EBHS principal Katie Moore he was resigning Tuesday, according to a release from Burke County Public Schools.
“It was with a heavy heart that I informed Mrs. Moore of my decision to step down as the Cavaliers head football coach,” Buffamoyer said, according to the release. “But after much self-reflection on where our football program is going, I feel it is time for me to step aside.
“I believe the program needs new energy with someone who has an energy about them that will reach out to young people and bring them into the program, weight room and offseason. I see areas that need to be improved and new energy may help our players.”
Buffamoyer’s EB teams finished just 5-28 overall, winning twice in 2017 and ’19 and once in 2018.
The Cavs claimed just two total conference games including none at home in his tenure despite featuring running back Josh Moore, who broke the EBHS career records for rushing yards (3,362) and touchdowns (41), as the team allowed on average 395.5 yards and 41.2 points per game and passed for 71.3 yards per game.
Katie Moore, who said the search for the program’s 10th all-time head coach will begin soon, thanked Buffamoyer for his service, as did athletic director Jim Childers, who was also an assistant coach under Buffamoyer on the gridiron.
“I would like to thank Coach Buffamoyer for his hard work and dedication to high school students and athletes over the past decades and specifically his commitment to East Burke High School and our football program here,” Moore said, according to the release.
“He is a sincere and virtuous man and is well-respected by our students, parents and staff. I was disappointed to learn of Coach Buff’s decision but appreciate his honesty and willingness to make sacrifices to do what he feels is best for the program.”
Childers added: “I, too, was disappointed to hear of Coach Buff’s decision. There is a lot of football knowledge that will leave with him. I appreciate his hard work and dedication over the years with our students and athletes and his work to uphold the legacy of our football program.”
Of the last seven football coaches at EB, six left with 13 or fewer wins including Buffamoyer, though Buffamoyer had a successful stint as defensive coordinator with the Cavs from 2008-16. In those nine years, EB made the state playoffs four times including reaching the third round in 2015 to tie the longest playoff run in EB history in the program’s only winning season this decade.
Buffamoyer, a Greenville, S.C., native who played collegiately at Western Carolina, had previously coached at West Caldwell (1988-95; 2004-2007) as well as Eastside (1996-97), Southside Academy (1998-99) and Berea (2000-02) in South Carolina.
He said he would like to continue teaching and would entertain a football assistant coaching position with EB.
“I still have the energy for that,” he said, according to the release. “East Burke is a great place to work, and the people here have made big contributions toward me, and for that I am thankful.”
Buffamoyer also previously served as head coach for baseball with the Cavs (2008-14), one of five prep baseball coaching jobs he has held, and is currently EB’s head softball coach. Childers said as far as he knows, Buffamoyer plans to coach the Lady Cavs on the diamond for a second year this spring.
Paul Schenkel can be reached at email@example.com or 828-432-8950.