Published: Jul 12, 2006 01:22 PM
Modified: Jul 12, 2006 01:22 PM
When Ed Tindal arrived on the Apex High campus as the school's new athletics director in 1993, there was nary a practice field and the stadium's six-lane track was cracking.
For a relatively new member to the NCHSAA's 4-A ranks, Apex's facilities were in dire need of an upgrade. In announcing his retirement on April 7, Tindal, 59, took pride in the fact that the school's facilities were suprememly upgraded.
The Cougars now play softball on campus under lights. There are practice facilities for the soccer, football and lacrosse teams. And that old asphalt track has been replaced by an eight-lane rubberized track.
"I'm just proud of the facilities improvements we have made over the years," Tindal said. "It shows the commitment made by the administration, the boosters, the community and the coaching staff."
And the upgrades have helped translate into success. In the NCHSAA's 4-A Wachovia Cup standings through the winter season -- a system that awards points for a school's post-season accomplishments -- Apex was tied for first.
Tindal, an Apex native who attended Apex High, is modest in talking about his role, preferring to laud the athletes and coaches that have come under his watch.
"I did everything in my fullest to give them the best opportunity to succeed," Tindal said. "It was not so much about winning championships as much as wanting to give the athletes and coaches the opportunity to be their most successful."
In announcing his retirement, Tindal also announced that Del Phillips, 50, the school's associate athletics director and baseball coach, will take over the reins.
"I believe Del is very experieneced and has very good practical skills," Tindal said. "I have tried to hire him five or six times over the years, but we were unable to make it work. He understands how an athletics department should be organized and he takes great pride in the physical facilities of the school."
A decision on whether Phillips will remain as the Cougars' baseball coach after this season has not been announced.
Tindal graduated Apex High in 1964, attended Louisburg Junior College and later graduated from Campbell University in 1969. Later that year, he helped create Wake Christian Academy's athletics program and later coached private school state championship boys and girls basketball teams there.
After coaching in Johnston County for a time, Tindal returned to his roots. In 1977, he started Apex High's cross country program and coached the track team.
In 1981, he moved to Apex Middle, where he served as AD and head football and track coach. He stayed until moving back to Apex High in 1993.
"The big thing I want to do is build on what Ed Tindal has established," said Phillips in a recent interview with the News & Observer. "One of the biggest things is to keep the high caliber of coaches that we have. It is an incredible staff."
Phillips, in his second year at Apex, reportedly led an effort during the past year to upgrade the baseball field with $100,000 worth of improvements. Tindal said those improvements are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
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