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A Strong Finish for Warhorse Coaching Legend Anthony Lee
A Strong Finish for Warhorse Coaching Legend Anthony Lee
Posted on 05/28/2021
Warhorse coach Anthony Lee will retire after 25 years with C.D. Owen High and 30 years in education.Featured Photos: 1. Coach Anthony Lee. May 20, 2021. 2. Coach Lee leads base running drills during a baseball practice. 3. Anthony Lee discusses strategy with his players. 4. The Warhorse baseball team practices on their home field.

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

Warhorse coaching legend Anthony Lee will retire his post this spring after 25 years with Charles D. Owen High School and 30 years as an educator.

The physical education (PE) and weight training teacher has a storied history on the baseball, football, and track fields. Lee was named the Western Highlands Baseball Coach of the Year seven times and the Western Regional Baseball Coach of the Year in both 2001 and 2005. He led baseball teams to seven conference championships and 18 consecutive state playoff runs. During his brief stint coaching track (1996-1999), his runners were 3,200 meter relay state champions four years in a row.

Coach Lee leads base running drills on May 20.On the home stretch of his final season, Coach Lee led the Warhorse baseball team practice on May 20. Players ran drills and fielded balls that Lee hit to them. Despite the pandemic and their coach’s final days in uniform, they were focused on the seven remaining regular season games. Their shared goal was to finish strong.

“These 30 years of coaching will probably go down as the happiest times of my life,” said Lee. “Working with young people, watching my players become young men and eventually fathers and role models within the community — I just love what I do.”

Whether on the field or in class, Lee has encouraged students to bring their highest effort.

“Being a student comes first,” he said. “You may not be an athlete, but I’m still going to try to get the best out of you in the classroom.”

Owen Principal Meg Turner called Lee an incredible educator whose legacy will be long-lasting.

Anthony Lee talks strategy to his players during practice.“His tireless dedication to doing the right thing is unmatched,” she said. “He has taught, mentored, and coached thousands of young people over his career. He has impacted his colleagues in much the same way. His character and integrity are evident every day in his interactions and decision-making. The Swannanoa Valley is so fortunate that he found his work home at Owen.”

Lee’s memories of his own high school coaches and teachers fueled his work for three decades. He remembers them pushing him to be his best on a daily basis and teaching him to love athletics. He wanted to do the same for others.

“Kids need that consistency of someone they know is going to be there for them,” he explained.

Lee began his teaching journey in 1991 in McDowell County. At East McDowell Junior High and McDowell High he taught math and science and coached the football and baseball teams. In 1996, he joined Owen High’s faculty to teach PE, and served as the head track coach and varsity assistant football coach. He became the Owen football offensive coordinator in 1998, the head baseball coach in 2000, and the school’s athletic director in 2015.

Lee called his retirement bittersweet because of how much the Owen community has meant to him.

“So many people have been instrumental in shaping me as a teacher, coach, and professional,” said Lee. “To all of those people, I have to give credit for where I am today, and I am so thankful for this opportunity.”

The Warhorse baseball team practices on their home field.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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