Kerr-Vance moving forward without athletic director

Jun. 15, 2014 @ 12:15 AM

The athletic director position at Kerr-Vance Academy has been eliminated as a result of school budget cuts.

Paul Villatico, KVA’s headmaster, said outgoing Jeff Tate did an “exceptional” job as athletic director.

Tate held the position for the 2013-2014 academic year, succeeding Rick Frampton.

Tate’s duties have been assumed by multiple staff members including Villatico, David Carrier and Brian Russell.

Carrier is the varsity boys head basketball coach and Russell coaches the varsity girls basketball team. Both coaches also teach at the school.

“We’re really trying to cover the whole thing with a few people instead of just one single person,” said Villatico, who doesn’t view the move as permanent.

“I see it as KVA right now having to make some difficult decisions based on financial need,” Villatico said, “financial restructuring so that we can create a foundation to move forward so that we have the opportunity to increase enrollment, increase overall participation in any of the extracurricular activities, which includes athletics.”

Before joining KVA as athletic director, Tate had successful tenures at Northern Vance and J.F. Webb as head baseball coach and also served as an assistant football coach at Northern.

Tate was to help KVA transition to charter status, but the school’s application to the N.C. Office of Charter Schools was rejected in February.

“Mr. Villatico was always honest and supported me,” Tate wrote in a statement to The Dispatch, “and I wish him the best and am thankful he gave me an opportunity.”

KVA recently graduated 26 seniors following the departure of 42 in 2013.

Villatico expects the high school and middle school to have about 130 students combined for the 2014-2015 academic year and said there is no intention of eliminating any sports due to budget cuts.

“We have no intentions of letting anything — whether it’s academics or athletics — go by the wayside,” said Villatico. “We continue to push to make sure teams have everything they need so they can be as competitive as possible.”

KVA’s teams compete in N.C. Independent School Athletic Association Class 1-A and the Spartans expected a move to a new independent conference in the fall for one year regardless of the outcome of the charter application.

The Spartans had been a member of the Eastern Plains Independent Conference before the league dissolved following the conclusion of the recent spring sports seasons. That league included Rocky Mount Academy, Faith Christian and Halifax Academy — all three of which are joining KVA in a new mixed-classification (1-A/2-A) league.

Other members in the new league also include Crossroads Christian, Raleigh’s St. Thomas More Academy, Greenville’s Oakwood School, and Epiphany School of New Bern.

KVA and Crossroads teams often compete against each other, but the schools are now members of the same conference for the first time.

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