Tate welcoming new challenge at KVA

Sep. 18, 2013 @ 11:44 PM

The new athletic director at Kerr-Vance likes challenges.

Jeff Tate revitalized the baseball programs at Northern Vance and J.F. Webb. Now, he’s embracing the opportunity to lead KVA into a new era.

KVA announced plans earlier this month to transition from a private school to a public charter school. If granted charter status, the school is expected to compete in the N.C. High School Athletic Association beginning in the fall of 2015.

KVA dropped from the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 2-A classification to 1-A for the 2013-2014 seasons and will compete in a new 1-A conference for the 2014-2015 seasons.

“It’s going to be a lot of changes whichever route we take,” said Tate. “My goal with all that is to make sure we’re playing the right people and we’re doing the right things both on and off the field to make us successful.”

Tate succeeds Rick Frampton, who spent six years as KVA’s athletic director.

Tate has 260 career high school baseball wins. He was the head coach at Northern for a decade and spent a year as an assistant coach at KVA in 2005 before going to Webb, where he served as head coach from 2006-2012.

Tate has also been a successful American Legion coach in addition to serving as an assistant football coach at Northern for 10 total years.

“He just brings a well-rounded idea of what school athletics should be and could be,” said KVA Headmaster Paul Villatico. “We are very excited to have him.”

Villatico said the school remains focused on achieving success on the private school level.

“We want to make sure we do everything possible to make these next two years successful in terms of athletics as a private school,” said Villatico. “In the midst of all that, in the background, we’re moving on in terms of planning for a charter school and entering a public school athletics arena. So Jeff’s experience in that will come in handy as we begin to move more towards that and eventually into it.”

Kenny Harp, a former Webb coach, will take over Frampton’s wrestling program and Todd Wilkerson will continue to lead the Spartans’ varsity baseball team.

Tate said KVA has good coaches in place and noted what has already been accomplished at the school from an athletics standpoint.

“We’ve had some success,” said Tate. “Soccer had a real good year last year. Baseball and basketball have won state championships. The groundwork is kind of laid. We just have to try to figure out a way to get us from where we are into the situation that will be coming in the next couple of years.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.