Departing Red Devils coach reflects

Nick Bazzle said he knew it was time.

"The whole time I have been a coach, I've had coaches around me that have been older, and when it was time for them to leave or retire, I asked them over and over again, 'How do you know when it is time to leave?'" he said. "They always give the same answer: You'll just know."

When Bazzle decided to walk away from 24 years spent coaching Newton-Conover High School football, he said he reflected on the words of those mentors — including long-time NCHS coach and former athletic director Don Patrick.

This week Alexander Central High School announced Bazzle, 50, will become the Cougars' new head football coach next year. He'll spend another week at Newton-Conover after spring break, finish April 20, and start work in Alexander County two days later. There won't be any vacation between the two jobs.

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.