BUNN, N.C. (WNCN) – Even in retirement, David Howle is up and at ’em at the crack of dawn, ready to face the day.
“I think old coaches have a hard time of slowing down,” Howle said.
Howle was the head football coach at Bunn. He often found himself wearing many hats — like also coaching track and running the operation in the weight room — due to the small-school nature. The workload became a bit too much after 29 years in charge of the Wildcats.
“I was tired,” Howle said. “At a double-A school, you do everything from mow the grass to wash the uniform. And I had great coaches, but I was just worn out.”
Ironically, one of the chores that added to Howle’s wear-and-tear is now a passion of his. Just six months into retirement, Howle and a friend from church started a lawn care service.
“It was tough. It really was,” he said. “After the first six months, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. What have I done? I still get up 5 (or) 5:30 in the morning, and I have my list to do this and this. So it was rough.”
Retirement, for Howle, wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
“As a coach, you never have time to play golf and fish, and I thought I’m going to play golf,” Howle said. “But that’s not for me. I’d rather be in the backyard working or mowing grass, I like to stay busy.”
Still, nothing will take the place of the memories built during Howle’s three-plus decades of coaching.
“My last team, 2016, I had 12 kids on the team (who) I coached their dad,” he said. “That was special.”
Howle said he sees former players of his occasionally, only now while he’s riding atop his mower.