NEWTON – Matt Beam has resigned after four seasons as head football coach at Newton-Conover High.
Beam came to Newton-Conover from Burns in 2013 — replacing Brint Russell — and coached the Red Devils to records of 7-4-1, 6-6, 6-5 and 9-3 and into the state playoffs in 2014, 2015 and last season.
Assistant coach Darren Ponder, the Red Devils’ defensive coordinator, will take over as Newton-Conover’s head coach.
The story was first reported on Wednesday by The ONE (Observer News Enterprise of Newton; see link below).
Ponder is the fourth head coach of Red Devils football since 1974, when Don Patrick came from Wilkes Central to become head coach.
When Patrick retired after the 1998 season, longtime assistant Nick Bazzle became head coach. He remained in that position until 2011. When Bazzle resigned, the Red Devils hired Russell, and he was in Newton for two seasons (2012 and 2013).
Newton-Conover shared a Catawba Valley Athletic 2A championship in Russell’s first year, going 6-1 in the league and finishing 9-4 overall. The Red Devils finished seventh the next year (1-6) and 2-9 overall in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A.
Beam was head football coach at North Lincoln before taking the same position at Burns. His 13-year coaching record is 109-55-1, and his Newton-Conover teams went 28-18-1.
He is a second generation coach and graduate of East Lincoln. His father, Wes, has coached for more than 40 years, many of them at West Lincoln.