Hinton resigns as Cedar Ridge football coach
Plenty has happened to Torrean Hinton since football season ended in November.
Last month, his North Carolina Central Eagles won the HBCU National Championship in the Celebration Bowl over Jackson State in Atlanta. Hinton, who attended Central and Alabama A&M after graduating from Hillside High School in 1999, proudly wore various Eagles sweaters for three days afterward.
Beside that, his days have been filled with his standard job working as an accreditation manager with the Durham Police Department and taking his daughter for training twice a week to the North Carolina Football Club Academy in Apex.
In a nutshell, it’s life. And that’s why Hinton’s tenure as Cedar Ridge football coach has come to an end.
Hinton formally submitted his resignation as the Cedar Ridge football coach on January 6, three days before his 42nd birthday.
“Life just happened as far as my family,” Hinton said. “My wife got a promotion. I’m a full-time soccer dad. My daughter started playing soccer for the North Carolina Football Club. My wife can’t take her. She has two practices a week. It was just a family decision. I had to put football down for awhile. My wife has been supporting me for 14 years while I coached.”
A job vacancy was posted to the Orange County Schools website last week. Cedar Ridge Athletic Director Andy Simmons says he’s already received several resumes.
Choosing to resign was a tough pill to swallow for Hinton. In the days after the season ended, he looked as his day planner and realized there was only so much he could do with 24 hours in a day.
“I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Hinton said. “I didn’t discuss it with anyone as far as Cedar Ridge is concerned. After the New Year, I thought I’d just rip the band-aid off and give Cedar Ridge a fresh start with somebody who will have enough time to do what they need to do.”
Hinton emphasized that his decision wasn’t centered on whether the Red Wolves would have enough players to field a team next season. Cedar Ridge didn’t field varsity teams in 2018 and 2021 because of a lack of participation.
“Absolutely not,” Hinton said when asked if participation was a factor in his decision. “I think that we had a lot of juniors on our team. Our senior class is going to be really, really big. The issue with Cedar Ridge is going to be finding rising juniors. We only had three sophomores on the team. That was the issue this year. Just trying to get more guys to come out from that class and get them to participate in spring ball. I don’t think they will have a junior varsity squad. If they do, it will be surprising. But definitely a varsity squad.”
Hinton just completed the second season of his second stint at Cedar Ridge’s head coach. His first stint started suddenly when Antonio King, a former Hillside coach who recently became the head coach at South Garner, gave notice on the first day of August training camp in 2019 in order to become a running backs coach at North Carolina Central.
In an interim role, Hinton coached Cedar Ridge to a 1-10 season in 2019 after they didn’t field a varsity team in 2018. Hinton’s first win as Cedar Ridge coach was memorable. For starters, it was Cedar Ridge’s first varsity win in 785 days. Isaiah McCambry, a freshman who would transfer to Walter Williams, scored two touchdowns, including a score in the fourth quarter that cut Chapel Hill’s lead to 19-18. K.J. Barnes took a handoff from Will Berger and scored on a handoff for a 2-point conversion that put the Red Wolves ahead 20-19 with 4:00 remaining.
Hinton left Cedar Ridge after Corey Lea was hired as head coach during the pandemic-shortened season in 2021. Cedar Ridge went 0-6 and Lea returned to Riverside in July 2021.
Hinton returned as head coach in 2021, but Cedar Ridge didn’t field a varsity team. They played only a junior varsity schedule. Last season upon its return to varsity, the Red Wolves went 1-9. They defeated East Chapel Hill 8-6 in August. James Este Wittinger scored Cedar Ridge’s only touchdown and made a tackle late in the game for the game-winning safety late in the fourth quarter.