Having a female football assistant coach is something that is not unheard of - multiple Charlotte Metro High Schools have had them in the past - however in getting to know Vance Running Backs Coach Alicia Cunningham - who goes by “AC”, her story may not be one that you would expect as a path to a position coach on one of the best teams in the state.
Coach AC is a cheerleading coach at another local school, and had some ambitions about coaching flag football at that same school. However, after not receiving the response she desired, it allowed her to have freedom to seek out some other opportunities.
While visiting Vance on some other, non-related business, AC was approached by Coach Campbell, a former Vance assistant coach, about one of their open football assistant coaching positions, knowing her growing interest in the sport. AC “was floored and accepted” the opportunity on the spot.
AC then later with then Head Coach Aaron Brand, which AC stated “who loved my energy and told me he wanted me apart of his coaching staff”. AC then spent time with Coach Jack, another Vance assistant coach, further learning the technical details of the game and the schemes the Cougars run, preparing for the upcoming season.
However, we all know the story as Coach Brand and the majority of his coaching staff moved on to Irmo HS in South Carolina. Coach Glenwood Ferebee was hired from Virginia, however he heard about AC and some good things. Per AC “Coach Ferb reached out to me and said he had heard about me and wanted to know if I was interested in staying and coaching which I said yes.”
The great thing about this is that in speaking with AC for this story and witnessing her in action, I don’t believe this is something for show or for the limelight, her passion for the sport is absolutely legitimate, and with a great support system in place I’m excited to see her growth in the future. This final quote from AC says a lot:
“Honestly I just have a passion for people development and seeing people do their best in what they do.” Simple, yet I totally agree - the best of all of us can make a huge difference in this world today.