Inside the BRD: Joe Dillard resigns as Bruton High boys basketball coach after leading Panthers to state final

Joe Dillard, who guided Bruton High's boys basketball team to the Group 2A state championship game in March, resigned Friday as the Panthers' head coach. Dillard, who also served as a para-educator and assistant football coach at Bruton, said his resignation from York County Schools is for personal reasons.

“I am trying to improve my personal status,” said Dillard, who guided the Panthers to a 46-8 record in two seasons as head coach. “It hurts to leave the boys, and I have truly loved each one that I coached.”

Burton athletic director Richard Onesty said Dillard’s resignation is a personnel matter and he could not comment on it. Onesty said the search for Dillard’s successor will begin immediately.

Dillard, 32, a former Tabb High basketball star, succeeded longtime coach Scott Joyner and guided the Panthers to a 20-6 record in his first season. Led by 2A all-state selections Marcus Carter and Lonnie Swinton, the Panthers went 26-2 last season, winning Bay Rivers District, Conference 33 and 2A East Region titles en route to the state championship game.

The Panthers fell 84-58 to Dan River in the final. Dillard believes the program will continue to succeed following his departure.

“I believe that the right pieces are there,” he said. “All that’s needed is the time, love and effort like I gave them and they will continue to be successful.”

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