Longtime basketball and volleyball coach at Northwest Guilford Darlene Joyner announced her retirement, effective May 1st of this school year. Joyner may remain as the head women’s basketball coach at her alma mater, Northwest Guilford, where she has compiled a 281-99 record since taking over the position in 2002.
Joyner will be stepping away from her duties as volleyball coach, which has seen her compile a 500-101 record with 20 conference championships including the last 16 straight conference titles. She told the Greensboro News & Record that she would entertain continuing to coach the basketball team.
This past season saw Joyner’s teams in volleyball and basketball win Western Regional titles and finish as NCHSAA 4A state runners-up.
After graduating from Northwest Guilford, Joyner attended Guilford College where she has been enshrined in the Guilford College Athletic Hall of Fame. She has been back teaching and coaching at Northwest for thirty-one years. She led the softball team to an NCHSAA state championship in 1996.
In an interview after her announcement with the Greensboro News & Record’s Joe Sirera, Joyner said, “I’ve got two beautiful grandkids and I have enjoyed spending time with them. I put my heart and soul into everything I do, and when my season starts in August and doesn’t finish until March, I kind of disappear from my family. I am a huge family person, so I made a decision that didn’t have to do with anything but my grandkids.”
Following her basketball team’s heart-breaking 46-45 loss to Millbrook in the 4A State Championship game, Joyner brought every senior into the post-game press conference and fought back tears as she praised the team and their accomplishments during their careers. Perhaps the best praise for Joyner came from one of those seniors Morgan Pointer who described her teammates and coach saying, “We’re not a basketball team. We’re a family.”