Updated 4 p.m.:
Former Glenn coach Monty Gray is headed back to Kernersville as head boys basketball coach at East Forsyth, the school announced today.
Gray succeeds Adam Muse, who resigned in late April to become head coach at Reagan.
A 1992 graduate of East Forsyth and a Journal All-Northwest selection, Gray went on to play basketball for Clarence “Big House” Gaines at Winston-Salem State and earn All-CIAA honors for the Rams.
“I’m immensely excited about this, to be coming home,” Gray, 46, said by phone today. “It’s full circle for me. I haven’t been back at the school since I graduated in ’92, so for me being able to come back and be in the community of Kernersville is a blessing and I’m so fortunate.”
Gray has spent the last two seasons as head boys coach at Forsyth Country Day and was the Furies’ head girls coach in 2017-18.
Gray’s Forsyth Country Day boys teams went 18-34, but improved significantly in 2019-20 while going 12-10. The Furies were 15-9 in his one season as their girls coach, 2017-18.
“I had an opportunity to build a lot of great relationships and made some really good friends with families over there,” Gray said. “I enjoyed it immensely.”
Gray coached the Glenn boys basketball team from 2011-2016. His Bobcats teams went 55-96 before he left to become assistant principal at Lexington Middle School for the 2016-17 school year.
“I’ve always been on the road traveling to my job since I left Glenn,” Gray said. “I’ve always had to leave a little early … the attraction was it’s right down the road. The attraction was I’ll be able to go back to my old stomping ground.”
He’ll also have sons William, a rising sophomore, and David, a rising freshman with him at East. Daughter Mia, 10, will attend nearby Piney Grove Elementary School.
Gray takes over an Eagles program that was 5-19 in Adam Muse’s one season as head coach after Muse’s uncle, Mike, retired in October 2019.
“I’m trying to build a program, to build relationships and make sure these kids understand what my expectations are,” Gray said. “I want our kids to be academic kids, to be great in the classroom, to work extremely hard in the classroom and on the basketball court. I want us to try to improve our relationships with the community of Kernersville as much as possible. I want to be able to have good, strong family support because it takes a village to nurture these kids the right way.
“We know it’s not going to be done overnight, that it’s going to be a process. We have to stay consistent in that process.”
A significant challenge for the Winston-Salem native and all new coaches at this time is the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down schools.
“We’re in unprecedented times,” Gray said. “There’s no book we can read to try to figure this thing out. You just have to take baby steps and do what we can do.”