GREENSBORO — On Monday, Mike Everett was preparing the Northwest Guilford girls basketball team for the upcoming season.
Today the veteran coach is taking over as Northwest’s athletics director.
Everett has been chosen to succeed John Hughes, who stepped down as the school’s AD in August to become an assistant principal at Eastern Guilford High School.
“It came as a surprise when I heard that Coach Hughes was leaving,” Everett said. “One thing led to another and I interviewed and went through the process with our administration. We talked again and it led to them offering me the job.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for Everett to accept the position. In the spring, he finished his first season as softball coach at Northwest, guiding the Vikings to a 19-4 record, the Metro 4-A Conference championship and a berth in the NCHSAA Class 4-A playoffs. In May, he was chosen to succeed Northwest legend Darlene Joyner as head girls basketball coach.
Guilford County Schools policy does not allow high school athletics directors to also coach, so Everett has to give up the softball and girls basketball jobs. “I labored over that decision, without question,” he said.
“It was bad timing, but good timing,” Everett added. “You can’t control when things happen. (Walking away from girls basketball) was hard. I love working with all those girls, and it was hard leaving the softball girls, too. I’d been with them a couple of years. All of those things weighed into the decision. But it was the right move for me at this time.”
Northwest Guilford Principal Ralph Kitley said Everett brings “a wide range of experiences” to the AD’s position. “He has a large network of contacts with coaches and officials throughout the state, connections with college coaches in three sports he’s coached for us. He’s a utility guy who can do it all.”
Everett also will give up his position as a physical education teacher at Northwest. He will fill Hughes’ position, “which was in-school suspension for part of the day and doing the athletics director duties in the afternoon,” Everett said.
A Greensboro native, Everett played basketball at Western Guilford and at High Point University before he began his coaching career in 1986 as an assistant under Jerry Steele at High Point. He served as the head boys basketball coach at Western Guilford (1993-1996), Scotland County (1996-2002), Southeast Guilford (2002-2004) and Northwest (2004-2008). He also served as an assistant baseball coach for the Vikings.
His ties the Northwest community run even deeper. His wife, Nancy, is the Vikings’ volleyball coach, and their children attended Northwest.
But Everett has never been an athletics director. Lee Reavis, Northwest’s boys basketball coach, has handled many of the tasks of the AD’s job on an interim basis since Hughes’ departure.
“He and I will work closely together on that, because he’s been handling those details,” Everett said. “Coach Hughes and I will get together and work on some things to get me up to speed on some things I haven’t done in my position as a coach.”
Everett knows there will be a learning curve, but he’s ready for it.
“In the short term for me it’s about learning the details and getting some stuff done because we’re already in season for football and all our fall sports,” he said. “I’ve got to play catch-up on some of those things in the next couple of weeks.
“The paperwork and things of that nature are the things anybody new to the job will learn to do,” Everett added. “The big thing for me is, being here for so many years, I’ve helped mentor some of our younger coaches as they’ve come along and our other veteran coaches have, too, and I can continue that and maybe even do more of that type of thing.”
He also will have to hire a couple of head coaches, starting with girls basketball. Joyner stepped down in mid-April after her teams went 362-109 and won the 2017 and 2018 NCHSAA Class 4-A championships. Everett was a big part of Joyner's staff for the last three Vikings teams.
Northwest loses two ACC signees, guard Cayla King and center Elizabeth Kitley, to Virginia Tech. But both players missed substantial time as seniors because of injuries. The Vikings’ new coach will be able to rebuild around a group led by rising senior guards Reagan Kargo and Thalia Carter, as well as post players (Xavier commit) Megan Harkey and Jadyn Murray.
“Darlene and I have talked, and she’s very supportive of what I’m going to be doing,” Everett said. “But she also has a stake because she helped build the program. We hope it will be someone who has the same thought processes she and I did on the things that are important for our girls and our program.”
What’s important to Everett as Northwest’s new athletics director is continuing “a lot of things Coach Hughes had in place,” he said. “I have some ties to the people who went to school here and have grown up in this area, because I’ve lived here pretty much all my life and I know all those folks, along with the newer people coming into the community. I want to continue the success we’ve had with our athletics program.”