GREENSBORO — Things won’t be the same at Page High School next month. Longtime athletics director Rusty Lee is retiring, effective Oct. 1.
Lee was busy tonight getting ready for the Pirates’ home football game against Reagan, which was moved up from Friday night because of the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence. He declined to comment further but confirmed that he will step down after 27 years as Page AD.
Before moving to Page, Lee was athletics director and head baseball coach at Southwest Guilford for one year. He also taught and coached at Ragsdale, Northeast Guilford and Aiken (S.C.). A graduate of Elon, Lee was a four-year letterman in baseball before earning his master’s at Western Carolina while working as a graduate assistant baseball coach.
Page has won state championships in multiple sports during his tenure as AD, and he’s had an impact on every aspect of Pirates athletics.
Dale Holder, the public address announcer for Page varsity athletics since 2010, is a Grimsley alumnus. But when he wanted to get involved in Pirates athletics while his son was playing soccer for Page in 2009, Holder was welcomed by Lee at his alma mater’s biggest rival. In 2010, Holder became the varsity P.A. announcer.
“He’ll be missed,” Holder said. “I hate to hear that he’s retiring, but he’s earned it.”
Holder said most of what Lee does to make Page athletics successful is behind the scenes.
“I see him getting the gates open and coordinating everything at games,” Holder said. “He’s always the first one here, the last one out. He closes down the stadium. … People don’t see all that he does, and that’s actually a compliment to him when it’s going smoothly and people don’t know what you’re doing.”
Matt Harder became Page’s head boys basketball coach in 2014. He credits Lee for giving him his first varsity head coaching job.
“He took a gamble on me, believed in me, trusted me,” Harder said. “I’ll be forever grateful for that.”
Holder also appreciates the trust Lee has had in him during the nine years he’s been the Pirates’ P.A. announcer.
“He and I have a great understanding,” Holder said. “I appreciate that he really trusts me.”
There was no immediate announcement on who will replace Lee as Page’s AD, but his successor will have a tough act to follow.
“I don’t think you can put into words how much he’s done for Page,” Harder said. “I really hate to see him go, but I wish him the best.”