DOBSON — When East Surry takes the football field for the 2018 season, longtime head coach David Diamont won’t be on the sideline, but his legacy with the Cardinals’ program will remain.
On Friday, the Surry County Board of Education announced that it would be recognizing Diamont, who retired last month after 36 seasons and 291 career victories with the Cardinals and rival Mount Airy, by naming the stadium at East Surry High School in his honor.
The school’s football stadium will be re-dedicated as the “David H. Diamont Stadium” this fall in a home football game. The date of the ceremony is still to be determined.
“Great coaches focus on developing character and citizenship — attributes that will serve our young people long after they cease to compete in the athletic arena,” said Board of Education chair Dr. Terri Mosley. “We thank Coach Diamont for the legacy he leaves at East Surry High School, not only in football wins, but as a role model for young men.”
Diamont, 72, began his career in the Mount Airy City School district as a teacher and JV coach for football and basketball for three years. He took a year off from teaching and coaching to earn his Master’s degree, then came back to MAHS and coached for another five years. In 1977, he was named head football coach at East Surry High School. Diamont coached the Cardinals for 13 seasons before stepping down after the 1989 season.
Two years later, he returned to the Bears and posted a 39-22 record between 1991 and 1995. He took a four-year sabbatical from being a head coach while serving in the N.C. House of Representatives. In 1999, he returned to East and coached them through the end of the 2017 season, ending with 252 victories at East and a career coaching mark of 291-153. Under his leadership, the Cardinals won or shared conference titles in 1983, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2014, 2015, and 2016, and the 2001 team reached the West Regional final.
In his final five seasons at East Surry, the Cardinals won 52 games, an average of 10.4 victories per season.
He had the distinction of being chosen as the head coach for the East-West All-Star game twice, more than two decades apart (1985 and 2007), was an assistant coach at the Shrine Bowl in 2006, President of the N.C. Football Coaches Association in 2003-2004, and was selected to the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.