Blair out as football coach at North Forsyth

Jay Blair

Blair out as football coach at North Forsyth
October 28
14:30 2020

The term “Reclaim the North” held a special meaning for Jay Blair and his staff at North Forsyth. Blair looked to be well on his way to turning around the football program that had only won one game in the two previous seasons, but after last week, the team is on the hunt for a new coach as Blair and North Forsyth have parted ways.

Blair posted four wins in his first season and his Vikings squad was more than competitive in several others. He is remorseful that he has to leave his team and is thankful to athletic director Sean Vestal and principal Melita Wise for the opportunity to coach at the school.

“It’s an unfortunate situation where I allowed myself to say things in different platforms that were deemed removeable offenses,” said Blair.  

During the meeting, Blair says there was mention of a few posts he made on his social media platforms that he says were taken out of context. Upon reflecting on those posts, he says he probably should not have put some of them out there for any and every one to see and interpret on their own.

“Social media is a public platform, and anybody can see those things,” he said. “When you put yourself out there, like I did, individuals can take what you say and make it mean something totally different than what it is, but me as an adult, I do know that I should have been mindful of that and I wasn’t.”

Once he heard the school wanted to move in a different direction, Blair was saddened more for his players than himself. He says the goal was always to make his players better men on and off the field and now he would not be able to accomplish what he started.

“It’s never about me and it wasn’t about how I felt or that I’m not coaching, what hit me was the hurt that I assumed my young kings would feel,” he said about hearing he had lost his position. “I was overwhelmed with pain, sorrow, hurt and the feeling of disappointing them and that is what still hurts me now.

“Does it hurt that I am not coaching football anymore? Yes. But I hurt more because those young men that I have helped mold is not there for me anymore.”

Blair said it was very tough to give the news to his players. He said it was one of his least favorite things he has ever done in his career.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and I have buried a brother,” Blair said emotionally about telling his players he would no longer be their coach. “When I buried my brother, it was about me and my family hurting, it was about us. Delivering the news to my young kings in that way was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, bar none.”

For Blair, he will miss the on-the-field action, but will miss molding the minds of his players into becoming men even more. He says he will also miss assisting his players with playing on the next level. His efforts of making phone calls and sending out film to schools enabled eight of his players to make it to college to fulfil their dream of playing college football.

“It’s not about wins and losses in the games, it’s about the wins we get with these young kings and as long as they allow me, I am going to be there for my babies, because they are mine” he said. “Even though I am not leading them on the football field, I am going to be there for them however or whenever they need me and that’s just who I am.”

Blair has been coaching since 2005 and says he still reaches out to those players from early on in his career. He says that is why he won’t stop helping this current crop of players even though he is no longer the coach.  

The North Forsyth coaching staff was shocked as well when Blair shared the news with them. Blair said he imparted on them that they must continue with the mission they started when they took over a season ago. Blair says he hopes the school hires Bernard Williams as their next head coach.

“We are cut pretty much from the same cloth,” Blair said about Williams. “We went to the same college and was mentored by the same man, James Webster, and our philosophies are very similar.”

Blair had high praise for his coaching staff as well.

“I would voice to anybody who would listen that they are the best coaching staff in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and possibly the state,” Blair said about his former staff. “The way they worked for me and those young kings, I think that staff needs to stay together and see it through under the guidance of Bernard Williams.”

Blair says he is the type of person that learns something from every situation, whether it’s good or bad. He says he will be mindful of how things come off to others and how that perception can be taken.

“Even though I did not mean things the way the way that it was taken, because I do believe it was taken out of context,” he continued,  “I have the responsibility with or without that platform to be mindful of that and concentrate more on what unites us instead of what ignites us, so that is the lesson learned.”

Blair said, “coaching is in his DNA” and is what he would like to continue doing.  He says if another situation presents itself, he and his wife will evaluate the situation and make a decision.

“This is my love,” he said about coaching.  “Outside of being a wonderful husband and great father, coaching ranks right up there.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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