WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Longtime South Central boys basketball coach Chris Cherry is stepping down from the position but said he will remain athletics director and head football coach.

Cherry, who has been the head coach for 14 seasons and had the basketball court named in his honor last August, made the announcement Friday morning. Associate head coach Leland Jones will take over duties as head boys basketball coach.

Jones has been with Cherry for 13 seasons. They were a part of the school’s Class 4-A state championship in the 2018-19 season. The Falcons finished the 2022-23 season with a 16-11 overall record. Cherry had a 286-71 overall record at South Central.

“I’ve stepped down as head boys basketball coach at South Central High School. When I agreed to become the head football coach in October, I made the decision that the 2022-2023 basketball season would be my last. I made the decision to not make this public until after the season with the full support of both school and district-level administration, which I’m truly grateful for.

“My associate head coach for the past 13 seasons, Leland Jones, will be the new head boys basketball coach at South Central. I’ve seen him grow into an outstanding teacher/coach and most importantly a leader of young men over the past 13 seasons. I have no doubt that under his leadership South Central Basketball will continue to prosper.

“I will continue to serve as athletic director/head football coach, which I’m truly excited about this new journey. Again, I’m truly grateful to past and present school administration that has respected my wishes to make the announcement on this timeline.”

Last November, Cherry announced he would take over as the school’s football coach. The Falcons finished 1-9 in 2022 with Kendrick Parker as head coach at the start of the season. He resigned after a 1-7 start and Robert Wolbert coached the last two games.