Salisbury football coach Joe Pinyan was approached recently by a fellow who had seen the name "Pinyan" on the list of coaches for the 2007 Shrine Bowl.
Pinyan checked it out and sure enough, there was a "Pinyan" from Salisbury scheduled to coach for North Carolina against South Carolina in the annual all-star game.
A Jim Pinyan.
"My grandfather's name is Jim Pinyan," Joe mused. "He's a good ol' guy but I don't know if he knows enough about football."
When Sam Story of Burlington Williams, North Carolina's head coach, called Pinyan and asked for Jim, "I thought somebody's pulling a prank," Joe laughed.
It was still a bit hard to believe even after Story revealed that Joe, not Jim, was the right man.
"I'm like, 'You gotta be kidding me,' " Pinyan said. "When you've only been a head coach for four years, you know there are a lot of good coaches out there who deserve this. It really humbles you when you see the list of people who have coached in the game.
"Am I in the same company as them? No way."
Pinyan has a very good resume in the four years as Hornet coach. He has won or shared the Central Carolina Conference championship each year and has a record of 39-13.
He joins North Rowan's Avery Cutshaw as the second Rowan County coach in a 2007 all-star game. Cutshaw is preparing for the East-West Game in Greensboro in July.
"It won't be long before some of our other coaches are selected for this honor," said Pinyan. "We've got good football across Rowan County. I hope to represent our county and our program well."
Pinyan does have 22 years of experience in coaching as an assistant and he's worked with Mooresville's Mike Carter, who is also a former Salisbury and Davie County head coach. Carter has been in the Shrine Bowl spotlight.
Pinyan also pointed out that Story came from the Pete Stout school of football. Stout not only coached at Salisbury, but left his mark at Burlington Williams.
"The Pete Stout connection keeps flowing all over the place," smiled Pinyan.
Story will gather his assistants together at a N.C. Football Coaches Association meeting Feb. 9-10.
"We'll get to know each other and find out who'll coach where," Pinyan said. "I''ll get to know some new guys. And I've got to know enough college coaches that I can get some input from them."
In the back of his mind he realizes most coaches bring at least one of their players with him. A school can have no more than two.
Pinyan said he'd have several seniors next season with Shrine Bowl potential.
The Shrine Bowl combines begin in March and the coaches will travel the state to different ones. Last year, the combines helped West Rowan's Tristan Dorty and David Melton get noticed enough to be chosen.
Pinyan says there is a lot of responsibility to being a Shrine Bowl coach. The week in mid-December is spent working out, eating and visiting hospitals.
"Physically, you might be drained but emotionally, you're lifted up," he said.
The first Shrine Bowl was played in 1937 and has raised over $51 million for Shriners hospitals.
"Coaching in the state championship and coaching in the Shrine Bowl are the two biggest honors in coaching," Pinyan said. "I'm
So I guess there's really only one thing left to say to Pinyan about his latest accomplishment:
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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