Estus Departs Lees-McRae after 15 Years as Director of Athletics
Jun 03, 2009
BANNER ELK, N.C. - Distinguished 15 year Director of Athletics,
Ried Estus, departs from Lees-McRae College after 22-years of
service to be the vice principal at the Christian Academy of
Knoxville in Knoxville, Tenn.
Estus came to Lees-McRae in April of 1987 when he started the
school's women's soccer program in August of 1987. In his first
three seasons, 1987, 1988 and 1989, he took his Lady Bobcats to the
NJCAA National Tournament after they were crowned Conference and
Region Champions. In 1992, 1993 and 1994 he took his teams to the
NAIA National Tournament, and he was named Regional Coach of the
Year four times in 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1994. In his 13 years as
head coach, 1987-2000, he compiled a .702 winning percentage, with
a 199-82-8 record.
Estus took over as Director of Athletics in 1994 and helped
transition the school from the NAIA to the NCAA. He started seven
new athletic programs and saw the restoration of three defunct
athletic programs. Since he took the helm in 1994, the school has
competed in a staggering 39 NAIA, NCAA or USA Cycling National
Championship events. The athletic department won the then,
Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference, Joby Hawn Cup for the best
overall athletic department in the 2000-2001 year.
In his 22 years of service Estus has held the titles of Director of
Athletics, head women's soccer coach, head women's tennis coach,
head softball coach and physical education instructor.
"I've been the luckiest man I know for twenty-two plus years,"
Estus said. "I've had an administration and college that supported
my every move, an exceptional staff willing to build their programs
within my philosophy of athletics and a community that embraced me
from the day I moved to Banner Elk. I told the Board of Trustees
last week that I can't imagine any greater honor in my lifetime
than to have served them as the Director of Athletics at Lees-McRae
"Ried has been a mentor to all of the coaches here at Lees-McRae,"
said assistant athletic director Craig McPhail. "He has given most
of us our first collegiate coaching opportunity and provided us
with the resources, guidance and support to be successful.
Lees-McRae's athletic department is a product of his lifelong
commitment to this college."
"I reached my dream job, and how many people can actually say that
in their lifetime," Estus said.
McPhail will be named Interim Director of Athletics.