HAMPSTEAD – Topsail High School has a new athletic director.
In a news release, Pender County Schools announced former Villanova player and Wayne County native Chuck Kornegay will take over for Jeff Fipps, who now serves as athletic director at a school near Charleston.
“Just being around athletics, sharing my knowledge with fellow coaches and doing something outside of the box, it doesn’t even feel like work,” Kornegay said. “Being able to influence and steer the program in a direction like the successful programs that I’ve been around, and being able to share that vision and create that kind of culture is exciting.”
After his time at Villanova ended, the 6-foot-9 power forward played overseas before taking an assistant coaching job under his former teammate, Drew Kelly, at Harcum Junior College in the Philadelphia area.
Recently, Kornegay turned his attention to the Carolina coast in hopes of being closer to his 12-year-old son in Wilmington. He initially landed a job offer outside of sports and was in Hampstead scouting potential places to live when he came across the online listing for the Topsail athletic director role.
Three hours after applying, he was on the phone with Topsail High principal Chris Madden.
“Jeff (Fipps) did an amazing job here last year building a solid foundation. We were really sad to see him leave, but when Chuck’s résumé came in, I immediately knew we had a chance to get someone special in the role who could continue to build on what Jeff had done,” Madden said.
After years on the sideline, those who know Kornegay best believe he has what it takes to make a big impact in his new role.
“I’m really happy for him because you won’t get a better person and he’ll be a great role model for those kids that he’s dealing with,” CBS Sports analyst Steve Lappas said. He coached Kornegay to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances and two Big East titles at Villanova. “He grew up in North Carolina, really persevered, got his degree at Villanova. He’ll be a credit to that school system, no doubt.”
Kornegay will begin his new role next week.
“It’s a good opportunity to just try and build some kind of culture with the community and get them more involved. That would be my biggest thing – creating a family atmosphere,” Kornegay said.