Covington takes over as Bucks’ A.D.

Middle school principal replaces Gary Brigman

Antonio Covington poses before a Boss’s Day luncheon while serving as principal of East Hoke Middle School last year. Covington will take on a new role, as athletic director for Hoke County High School, on July 1. (Covington’s Twitter/X account)

Hoke County High School sports will have a new person guiding the way. The school announced that Antonio Covington will take over as athletic director for the Bucks starting on July 1.

Covington replaces Gary Brigman, who has been with Hoke County Schools in some capacity for more than 39 years.

Covington has been in education for 19 years and has experience in interscholastic sports administration. He served as assistant athletic director for Fayetteville’s Westover High School and was the Cape Fear Valley Conference of Athletics’ secretary.

He has served as a coach for a dozen years, in sports ranging from football, wrestling and basketball to soccer, and he’s coached at both the middle-school and high-school levels.

Covington has also made great contributions on the academic side, winning Teacher of the Year at Westover in 2009 and Instructional Support of the Year at Hoke County High in 2014. As assistant principal at West Hoke Middle, he was named County Assistant Principal of the Year.

After taking over as East Hoke Middle’s principal—the job he’s leaving to take over as Hoke County A.D.—he won County Principal of the Year in 2021 and Wells Fargo Sandhills Region Principal of the Year in 2022.

Covington’s bio, released by the school, lists the 15 colleges and universities that have awarded athletic scholarships to more than 30 student athletes who played for him, and he served several years as College and Career Ready Coordinator.

“We are excited for what the future holds for Hoke County athletics,” Dr. Kenneth Spells, Superintendent of Hoke County Schools said, in a statement released by the school. “We know that Mr. Covington will continue to build on the excellence in academics and athletics that Mr. Brigman has built over the past few decades.”

Covington will be the first new athletic director at Hoke in more than two decades. During his tenure, Brigman coached football, basketball and baseball and took over as A.D. in 2003.

Under his watch, Hoke expanded its athletic program to include sports like swimming, bowling, indoor track, and girls’ wrestling at the high school level and wrestling, track, golf and cross country in middle school.