“A good coach can make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”
This statement can be custom tailored for new Woodberry Forest Head Coach Craig Dawson. Coach Dawson has a long pedigree with his playing days at Wake Forest and his coaching days at Forsyth Country Day.
Coach Dawson graduated from Wake Forest in 2002 after a stellar career for the Demon Deacons. He became the 40th member of the Wake Forest 1,000 career point club and finished with a career 1,342 points. He tied the ACC record for the most 3 pointers in one game with 11 against Clemson University and has set a Wake Forest individual record. For his career, Coach Dawson shot an impressive 38% from the 3 point line. He enjoyed a storied career at Wake Forest, but our story today is about Craig Dawson the coach!
After graduating from Wake Forest, Coach Dawson was employed by Forsyth Country Day School as an instructor of Physical Education for grades 3-9. From 2004-2008, Coach Dawson recorded a 76-19 record in just four season as Head Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Coach. His teams enjoyed two 20 win seasons and won the 2008 PACIS Conference Championship.
From his success at the junior varsity level, Coach Dawson then became the Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach during the 2009 season. His team finished 20-8 for the year and was the 2009 PACIS Conference Champions. In addition, Coach Dawson led the 2009 NCISAA 3A State Tournament Semi-Finals and won named 2009 PACIS Conference Coach of the Year.
The following season, Coach Dawson was named Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach and led FCDS to an 40-22 record. In 2010, he led the boys varsity team to the NCISAA 3A State Tournament Semi-Finals which was the school first appearance since 1984. FCDS won the 2010 PACIS Conference Championship which was the first school conference championship in 20 years and was voted the 2010 PACIS Conference Coach of the Year. He was voted Coach of the Year two years in a row, one with the girls varsity and the next with the boys varsity.
Besides being the coach at FCDS, Coach Dawson established and oversaw a support structure including academic, social, and personal support for all the basketball players at the school. More importantly, he was looked up too from the students as well as the basketball players as someone who was well liked and trusted. He was excellent in his communications and totally professional in his dealings on and off the basketball court.
One player that had a special relationship with Coach Dawson was my son Tyler. The relationship between Tyler and Coach Dawson was very special and without question Tyler looked up to Coach Dawson as his coach, friend and most important his role model. Tyler often stated, “Coach Dawson is like a second dad to me.” Tyler respected and loved Coach Dawson and enjoyed the two years under his leadership and coaching.
Outside of coaching JV boys basketball and varsity boy and girls at FCDS, Coach Dawson was always active during the off season, if there is such a thing in basketball today. Coach Dawson called with the NC Gaters, Carolina Titans and with Team Phoenix from 2003-2008 and is currently coaching the CP3 All Stars 14U team. He has volunteered his time running the NC AAU Pool Play and has worked various camps such as the Dave Odom and Skill Prosser Basketball Camps at Wake Forest, Rusty Larue Basketball Academy, FCDS Basketball Camp, Triad Hoops Academy and has worked the famous CP3 Elite Guard Camp, NC Phenom 150 Camp, along with the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge.
Basketball has been a major part of Coach Dawson’s life. He was a high school and ACC star and came from a strong basketball family. He has been highly successful at both levels, but it is professionalism and passion that makes him special and the saying “A good coach can make his players see what they can be rather than what they are” is a motto that bodes well for Coach Craig Dawson. His ability to communicate and maximize his team’s potential is one of his strongest attributes. That being said, Coach Dawson should do well with his new coaching position for the Woodberry Forest School in Virginia.