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Kevin Wallace moves on from Northwest Guilford

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Kevin Wallac

Coach Kevin Wallace talks with some of his new football players Wednesday at West Forsyth. “I think they’re excited,” Wallace said. “I’m certainly excited. I think we’re going to play an exciting style of football. No knock on the past, we’re just going to be a little bit different.”

CLEMMONS — It can be awkward meeting new people, especially when it’s a large group and you’re standing in front of them. And they’re teenagers.

That’s what Kevin Wallace faced Wednesday when he introduced himself to the West Forsyth High School football team. Wallace met his new players in the school’s cafeteria and handled it as if he’d been there before. Because he had.

Wallace spent the spring 2017 skill development period as the Titans’ offensive coordinator under Adrian Snow before leaving to become head coach at Northwest Guilford. He said goodbye to his Northwest players Monday after deciding to leave for West Forsyth and succeed Snow.

“I appreciate everything they’ve done,” Wallace said of the Vikings, “because it put me in this spot to be able to accept this job, and I told them I was going to do everything I could to get a great coach in here to succeed me.”

Northwest went 32-34 overall and 14-16 in conference play during Wallace’s six-season tenure, including 10-3 and 6-1 this year while advancing to the third round of the NCHSAA Class 4-A West playoffs.

“It was the right time to go,” Wallace said. “(West Forsyth) is a great job, no knock on Northwest at all. It’s a great opportunity for me and a new challenge.”

The Titans’ football program has been “attractive to me for years,” Wallace said. “Being an assistant there for just a small time … the facilities are great, the atmosphere is great and the people I interacted with were great. There’s a good community feel there.”

That community supported Snow for 15 seasons, but he stepped down in November to enter private business and spend more time with his wife, Gina, and daughter, Macy. West Forsyth went 4-7 overall and 4-3 in the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference in Snow’s final season, but he had six 10-win seasons, four conference championships and three runs to the third round of the NCHSAA Class 4-A West playoffs.

That’s a tough act to follow, but Principal Kevin Spainhour said he and athletics director Mike Pennington were impressed with Wallace’s “passion, his commitment to the whole player, getting kids ready for the next level, but also ensuring that they’re becoming good men. A lot of coaches say that, but his passion, his energy and his track record have proven that. That’s exciting.”

Spainhour said there are “definitely some similarities in how (Wallace and Snow) structure their program. But we were very clear with Coach Wallace coming in that we don’t expect him to be Adrian Snow. We want him to stand on his own two feet and develop and grow his program and put his stamp on it.”

Wallace isn’t planning a major overhaul of the Titans’ coaching staff.

“I knew at least half of that staff before I took the job because they were there when I was up there that spring,” he said. “We have a good relationship.”

Wallace also has a very good relationship with Snow, who reached out to him.

“Adrian has been great through this whole process,” Wallace said. “He’s still tied in to the community and his daughter is still at West. He wants West Forsyth to succeed.

“I’ll be able to lean on him. We had a relationship before and I can only imagine it growing closer.”

Wallace knows he’s stepping into a program with good players, good coaches and good infrastructure, as well as great expectations.

“We’re going to build on it,” he said. “Some things are going to be different from Coach Snow, and the philosophy will be a little bit different, but at the end of the day I learned some things from him. For someone I worked for the shortest amount of time I think I learned the most.”

Wallace started building relationships with his new players Wednesday, talking with a long line of Titans after introducing himself in the school cafeteria. They asked him what schemes they would be playing and what his program would look like.

“Once we get into it they’ll see,” he said. “It’s easy to talk about and harder to do.

“I think they’re excited. I’m certainly excited.”

Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraSports on Twitter.

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