HUNTERSVILLE – Bobby McLaughlin, a Lincolnton High assistant football coach the past 10 years, was hired Feb. 19 as SouthLake Christian Academy’s head coach.

McLaughlin, 44, replaced Geoff “Bub” O’Donnell, who was a volunteer coach the past two seasons. O’Donnell resigned two weeks ago, saying he wanted to spend more time on his financial service business and with his family.

McLaughlin coached quarterbacks and the defensive secondary at Lincolnton. The Wolves had an 86-37 record. Lincolnton won the N.C. 2A championship in 2007 and was a state finalist in 2005 and 2011.  

He’ll inherit a SouthLake Christian team that won the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III championship last fall, the first in school history. The Eagles, who had an 11-1 record last season, will return 18 starters.


“Bobby has a strong track record coaching and managing all aspects of a competitive football program,” SouthLake Christian athletics director Joe Haney said. “He’s experienced in coaching both sides of the ball and has a long, successful track record placing student-athletes into college football programs. He’ll be a good role model and Christian influence for our young athletes and assistant coaches alike.”

McLaughlin has taught and coached more than 20 years in Lincoln and Iredell counties. Prior to Lincolnton, McLaughlin coached at North Iredell (2003-04), South Iredell (1999-2003), Mooresville (1998) and West Iredell (1993-98).

“The opportunity to coach at SouthLake was a blessing,” McLaughlin said. “It just fell into place after my wife and I discussed moving both our son and daughter to SouthLake Christian. After speaking with the administration, we were excited about the opportunities for our family. We were impressed with the vision that was set forth not only for the football program, but for the overall school philosophy and Christian environment.”

McLaughlin will continue as a special education teacher in Lincoln County School system while coaching at SouthLake.  

“The team I hope to put on the field is one that will be well-prepared, tough, physical and hard nosed," he said. "It will be a team that competes for four quarters each and every game."