A staple for years in the Rowan County community and particularly South Rowan High School, Larry Deal, has passed away on Monday, October 24, 2016.
After graduating from South Rowan High School where he was All-Rowan County in 1964 & 1965 while earning nine varsity letters in football, basketball and track, Deal went on to East Carolina where he played football. After graduating from ECU, he returned to South Rowan to become the football coach and eventually served as track and basketball coaches as well.
Deal took over the head coaching job from South Rowan legend Reid Bradshaw in 1983. He coached 12 seasons at the helm posting a 70-58 record during those years, including an 11-2 mark in his first season, which is still the school record for victories. He coached track for more than 30 years.
Todd Bell is the athletic director at West Rowan High School and described him by saying, “Coach Deal was a true inspiration to many young men in the China Grove community. He was tough and expected nothing but he best from his players and coaches – and we gave it our all to him at every practice and game. He may have been firm, but we knew what he expected and did not want to let him down. Coach Deal was a father figure that we needed away from home. When people hear South Rowan, they will always associate Coach Deal with it as a school.
He took over the school’s athletic director role in 1983 and handled those duties in addition to coaching football and track. His daughter, Angie Chrismon, took over for him as athletic director when he stepped aside.
Deal was a member of First United Methodist Church in China Grove. He retired from the US Army Reserves after more than 20 years of service, much of which was spent as a drill instructor.
He is survived by his wife, Diane; his daughter Angie Chrismon (Thad); son, Andrew Deal (Carrie); five grandchildren; twin brother, Jerry Deal and sister, Eloise Teeter. Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, at First United Methodist Church, China Grove officiated by Rev. Mike Goode. Burial will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Whitley's Funeral Home.
If you would like, memorials may be made to South Rowan Athletics in his honor, 1655 Patterson St., China Grove, NC 28023. Online condolences may be left at www.whitleysfuneralhome.com.