New Graham football coach offers fresh outlook

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Mykel Searcy looks beyond recent struggles for Graham’s football program and sees vast possibilities for the Red Devils.

He has been hired as the school’s next football coach.

“It just seems like a place with a lot of opportunity for growth,” Searcy said. “The community is yearning for some success.”

This will be Searcy’s first time as a head coach in football after stops as an assistant at Rockingham County, Eden Morehead, and Greensboro Page.

Searcy fills the vacancy left by former NFL player Bobby Houston Jr., who was 5-15 in two seasons with the Red Devils. Graham went 1-9 in 2023, marking the school’s 19th consecutive losing season.

The past two seasons, Searcy, 36, has been on the Greensboro Page staff, where he directed inside linebackers and special teams.

Searcy, a 2005 Rockingham County graduate, played his last three high school seasons under coach Lin Stadler, who’s a former assistant football coach and head baseball coach at Western Alamance. Searcy went on to play as a defensive back and outside linebacker for Greensboro College. After college, he was on Stadler’s staffs at Rockingham County and Eden Morehead.

Searcy said he’s assembling a coaching staff that’s likely to include newcomers to Graham, though he intends to reach out to past staff members as well.

He’s also cognizant of the type of success that the Red Devils once enjoyed. They reached back-to-back Class 1-A state championship games in 1999 and 2000, winning the latter.

“I’m excited to develop all those relationships,” Searcy said. “I want to talk to guys from those past teams and see what direction we might take to get back to that winning level.”

Searcy is a past head coach for boys’ and girls’ track and field at Eden Morehead.

The time frame for his transition to Graham is still in the works. For now, it appears he’ll remain at Greensboro Page, where he’s a Career and Technical Education teacher, through the end of the school year. He said he expects to have a similar off-field role at Graham.

“The area (in Alamance County) is really friendly,” he said. “They’re welcoming me into the community.”