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Former eastern North Carolina coaching great passes away



GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Delano Deans, known by many in the high school sports coaching world, specifically Pitt County and around eastern North Carolina, as “Cobby,” passed away Tuesday at the age of 80.

North Pitt High School, one of the schools where Deans coached, made the announcement on its school athletics Facebook page. His obituary was also posted by Wilkerson Funeral Home in Greenville.

Deans was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2019 after a decorated career of coaching and teaching.

He coached at Bethel High School — that later became North Pitt — Farm Life in Craven County and at D.H. Conley High School. He’s one of the few coaches in North Carolina’s history to win a state title in both girls’ and boys’ basketball.

He had a 444-214 record in boys’ basketball and was 152-16 in girls’ basketball, including a 96-3 record at Bethel and an undefeated 44-0 record at North Pitt.

A funeral service will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in the Wilkerson Funeral Home. A private graveside service will follow. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the same location.

His biography, provided by the North Carolina High Sschool Athletic Association reads:

Delano “Cobby” Deans
Ayden, NC

“Delano “Cobby” Deans was a highly successful Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coach in Pitt County at Bethel, North Pitt and D.H. Conley High Schools. He also Coached at Farm Life High School in Craven County for one year (1966-1967).

Deans coached both the Men’s and Women’s teams at Bethel High, beginning his coaching career with the Women’s team in 1967 and the Men’s in 1969. His teams won four consecutive 1A Women’s Conference Championships at Bethel before the school was consolidated into North Pitt High School. He took the Head Men’s and Women’s Basketball jobs at North Pitt, guiding the Women to the 1971-1972 Open Classification State Championship, and serving as the school’s athletic director from 1971-1988. In 1972 after leading the Women’s team to a state championship, Deans turned over the Women’s coaching duties and focused on the Men’s team and his job as Athletic Director. When he stepped away from Women’s Basketball, Deans career coaching record in Women’s Basketball was 152-16, including a 96-3 mark at Bethel and 44-0 mark at North Pitt.

In 1989, Deans left North Pitt for D.H. Conley where he served as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Trainer from 1989-1997. While at Conley, he led the school to a 3A Men’s State Championship. Deans posted a career record in Men’s Basketball of 444-214.”

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