Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School names New Head Coaches
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School announces some new head coaches for the 2019-2020 school year, tells Athletic Director Dale Earnhardt. “Courtney Ledford ‘09 will take over the varsity volleyball head coach position this fall. As a former Lady Eagle herself, Coach Ledford brings a unique alumni perspective to the volleyball program. She played seven years of volleyball at Rabun Gap and served as a team captain during her time as a student. She was a setter and libero. This is Coach Ledford’s fifth year coaching volleyball, and she has experience working with all ages and levels of play. She’s worked extensively with the Trailblazers Volleyball Club, leading the organization’s developmental team, and has already been a part of several elite coaching clinics this summer. Last year, Coach Ledford was the head coach of Rabun Gap’s middle school volleyball team and led the girls to a Tri-State Conference Championship. She hopes to continue that success at the varsity level. Coach Ledford is the wife of Jamey Ledford, Eagles wrestling head coach and Middle School history teacher. They live on campus with their sons Jackson and Cael. Clark Wright is the Eagles’ newest head baseball coach. Wright comes to Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School after a successful playing and coaching career that spanned across the United States and around the globe. Coach Wright has an extensive background in leading baseball programs and helping his players earn college scholarships. He played as a shortstop and second baseman at Episcopal High School in Virginia before heading to the University of Georgia. Coach Wright played for the UGA junior varsity/feeder team that was ranked No. 2 in the country. After graduation, he moved to New York City and became Director of Baseball for Yorkville Athletics for four years, running one of the largest little leagues in the U.S. and working with MLB trainers. He’s also coached hitting and infield for the national showcase team US Elite with players selected for the MLB draft and he led North Charleston High School to the South Carolina playoffs in 2019 for the first time in a decade. In 2018, Coach Wright was recruited by the European Baseball League to play and coach professionally in Hungary. He played for a season on the Debrecen Tigers and was the team’s head coach. He also worked with the U18 Hungarian National Team as their hitting coach. Coach Wright has big goals for the Rabun Gap baseball program both on and off the field. He plans to build leadership and wants to accomplish making the playoffs, being the best team in the CAA Conference, and setting a foundation to be one of the best programs in the state. Coach Wright will live on campus and teach humanities in the Upper School. He was born in New York City and is a huge Yankees fan who loves history, travel, music, and the positive impact he can make as a teacher and coach. Other new head coaches for Rabun Gap include Le’Aqua Shoates, new Middle School Dean, will take over the Middle School track and field program; Dustin Barnes will lead the junior varsity basketball team as head coach and assist with the varsity squad. He will also serve in the classroom teaching Middle School humanities and a section of physical education; and Madison Philbrick will serve as head coach for the Middle School girls basketball team this winter and be the varsity volleyball assistant this fall. Coach Philbrick is a community coach and lives on campus with her fiance, Dustin Barnes. Additional head coaching changes that will be filled by current Rabun Gap faculty include Stephen Karplus will serve as head coach for the varsity girls tennis team this fall, in addition to remaining at the helm of the boys team this spring; Jonathan BySura returns to the court as head middle school volleyball coach this fall; Stuart Jump will lead the middle school boys basketball team this winter; and Community Coach Greg McMullen is moving up to become head coach for JV baseball. I am looking forward to welcoming our new head coaches to the Rabun Gap Eagles family. We are confident in all of our coaches and expect great success from our teams at all levels of play.” Founded in 1903, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory school serving students in PreK-12th grade day school and grades 7-12 for boarding school. Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School combines its strong academic program, mountain setting, and Presbyterian heritage to inspire young people eager to learn and grow. Living our motto, Work Study Worship, our community nurtures and challenges students from diverse backgrounds as they prepare for college and a lifetime of service. Learn more online at www.rabungap.org.