SouthLake Christian’s Landis leaving
by Staff Writer
Rich Landis, SouthLake Christian Academy’s athletics director, dean of students and the only head baseball and football coach the school has had, resigned to accept a job with North Raleigh Christian Academy.
“The bottom line is, the (SouthLake) administration has things going in a direction that was different from a direction I felt we needed to go in,” Landis said. “For the first time in a long time, it was best for me to look elsewhere.”
Landis will be the head football coach, assistant athletics director and an economics teacher at North Raleigh Christian. He’ll begin June 1.
Landis has been a coach at SouthLake Christian since 2002 when the baseball team debuted and football began a year later. He’s been the athletics director since 2005 and became the dean of students in 2006.
The school named SouthLake Christian assistant coach Geoff O’Donnell as head football coach in February, replacing Landis, who remained athletics director and baseball coach. Headmaster Wayne Parker said in a statement that the administration made the move “so that Rich can devote more time and energy to the global vision of our athletic department.”
Landis finished with a football record of 56-40 and led SouthLake Christian to two straight semifinal appearances in the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association Division II playoffs. The Eagles won 10 games in 2011, for the second time in school history, and earned the No. 1 playoff seed before falling 21-17 to Asheville School in playoffs.
Landis will continue coaching SouthLake Christian’s baseball team through this season and chaperone a senior mission trip to Peru. His daughter, Anna, a senior, and son, Richard, a sophomore, each play three sports at SouthLake Christian.
“Every day since I made the decision, it’s become more exciting,” Landis said. “There are some great people there (North Raleigh). But, the most difficult thing is that as the enrollment and the athletic programs have grown here, friendships and relationships have grown, too.
“That’s the most difficult part of this for our family. At first it was very difficult, but God has opened my eyes. It’s something our family has had to think through, and pray through. But, daily, I have received more confirmation. There are a lot of emotions, without a doubt. There are a lot of great people here at SouthLake. I’m confident the program will continue to grow and flourish.”
Landis’ football team beat North Raleigh Christian, 40-21, last August.