Rotolo steps down as Vance-Granville basketball head coach

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 07:54 PM

Mike Rotolo has resigned as head coach of the Vance-Granville men’s basketball team after one season.

Gene Purvis, Vance-Granville’s dean of student development, could not confirm whether the school will continue to have a basketball program.

Purvis said the school is “looking at all options” and is hopeful a decision on basketball will come soon.

Rotolo led the Vanguards to two wins in the 2012-2013 season, taking the reigns of a program that was forced to suspend its previous season due to lack of players.

Rotolo, 55, spent 22 seasons as head coach of the Southern Vance varsity boys basketball team. He took the Vance-Granville job last summer hoping to take Vanguard basketball to a new level.

“I just don’t feel like I’m the man for the job right now,” said Rotolo. “There have been so many great moments and so many great people I’ve been involved with at Vance-Granville. There just aren’t enough things in place there right now for me to be able to do what I need to do as a basketball coach.”

Vance-Granville plays its home games at Aycock Recreation Center and practices at Western Vance. Rotolo said the team not having a place it could call home was the primary reason for his departure.

“I just don’t have a classroom and I feel like I need one,” said Rotolo, who called himself a “teacher of the game.”

Rotolo will continue to teach physical education at Zeb Vance Elementary School and hopes to return to coaching at some point.

“I love being called coach,” said Rotolo. “To me, it’s the greatest honor in the world to be able to be coach.”

Rotolo succeeded Tim James as head coach at Vance-Granville. The Vanguards, who compete in the second division of the National Junior College Athletic Association, had no wins in the suspended season, James’ only one as head coach.

In five seasons, Vance-Granville has finished over .500 twice, with a 12-11 season in 2009-2010 after going 14-12 in the program’s first season.

Vance-Granville also fields volleyball and golf teams.

Purvis said the school wants its programs “to be competitive with any of its sister institutions, programs that provide good opportunities for players to extend their high school playing days.”

“In some cases,” said Purvis, “they may be able to progress or transfer to a four-year institution.” 

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.