Trojans’ XC head coach Sigmon announces retirement

In this photo from November 14, 2018, Bandys head cross country coach Alan Sigmon (center) is behind former Bandys star Sarah Faith McAllister as she signed to compete at Mount Olive. Also pictured (left to right) is her mom Amy, track coach Jason Barnes, athletic director Brandon Harbinson and her dad Thomas (far right). (Photo by Michelle Thompson)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Bandys High School has announced the retirement of longtime teacher and cross country head coach Alan Sigmon.

Sigmon was at the helm of the Trojans’ cross country program for the last 30 years (1990-2019).

“For a long time, 2020 had been my original retirement target date, to coincide with my youngest son Steven’s graduation from UNCC,” Sigmon told the O-N-E. “We have a great staff and administration at Bandys, and I had planned to come back for one more year, but with the uncertainty due to the virus, I decided that the risk outweighed the reward.

“I had the privilege of working with many great people in my 35 years in high school athletics. When I was in high school in the 1970s, I was part of the great track tradition at Bunker Hill, and in the 1980s, my friend Jeff Taylor had continued that and established a cross country program with even more success. When I came to Bandys, I wanted to create something like that.”

During his time as its head coach, the men’s teams won five conference titles ( 2004, 2012-15) and placed 2nd in the conference nine times. In 30 seasons, the men’s team finished top-2 in the conference 14 times and 24 times in the top-4.

Sigmon also helped lead the women’s cross country team to win two conference titles (1995-96) and had 10 other top-3 finishes.

Additionally, Sigmon coached the Trojans’ women’s track team from 1990-98 and finished 2nd in the conference four times in nine seasons.

“Bandys High School Athletics would like to thank Coach Alan Sigmon for his commitment to our Cross Country and Track program for the last 30 years,” said Trojans’ athletic director Brandon Harbinson in the press statement. “We are losing a phenomenal teacher, coach, and mentor for our kids. Coach Sigmon’s shoes will be extremely hard to fill, but we are grateful for his service to our students and athletes at Bandys High School over the last three decades. We wish him the very best!”

Prior to his involvement with the Bandys cross country and track programs, Sigmon began his career as an assistant cross country coach for Fred T. Foard in 1983. From there, he was its head coach from 1984-85.

He was also the Tigers’ men’s track coach from 1984-86 before leaving Fred T. Foard and becoming an assistant coach for Bunker Hill’s cross country program in 1988.

In track at Fred T. Foard, Sigmon led his men’s team to second-place finishes in the conference for two out of the three seasons at the helm.

“In my last cross country meet, the State 2A Meet last fall, I turned around to take a picture of our runner Lauren Buckminster,” he said. “There in the background was Jeff Wyant, whom I coached at Fred T. Foard, and whose father was my first principal! Jeff went on to coach multiple state title teams in Utah, and was there at the State Meet because he was helping coach a Fred T. Foard runner who was also at the State Meet. Coming full circle like that was a good way to close my high school coaching career.

“I plan to continue to help organize the County cross country and track championships. I have started a history of high school track in Catawba County, including developing an all-time list of the best performers in each event, so I will continue to work on that, with hopes of publishing it online in the next few years.”

*Updated with quote from coach Alan Sigmon at 12:35 p.m. on June 8, 2020*