Dalton High School promotes Carpenter to head football coach

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Longtime assistant coach and former player Kit Carpenter will be the next head football coach at Dalton High School after the Dalton Board of Education approved the hiring at a specially-called meeting Tuesday at the school.

Carpenter, a 1998 Dalton graduate and four-year letterman at North Carolina State University, replaces Matt Land, who resigned in December after 11 years as head coach. Land, who is also a former Dalton player, also spent 17 years as an assistant coach. His teams won 80 games, three region championships and made eight playoff appearances.

"It's extremely humbling and an honor to be able to lead our great staff and to really follow all the great coaches that came before me," Carpenter said at Tuesday's introductory press conference at the school. "They spent a lot of time and a lot of effort in building a football culture that is really special. The future looks really, really bright and today I couldn't be more proud to be a Catamount."

Carpenter spent the past 19 seasons as a Catamounts' assistant coach, the last 12 as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He has Masters and Doctorate degrees and has been instrumental in developing the Dalton Alternative Education Program. In 2019 he was named the system's Tom Jones Educator of the Year.

"We are thrilled Coach Carpenter will be taking over this program and look forward to the future of Catamount football," Dalton principal Stephanie Hungerpiller said. "He has served as a teacher, math coach and as director of the Dalton Alternative Education Program and Dalton Virtual Academy. He has been a part of the Catamount coaching staff for 20 years as a community coach, assistant coach and defensive coordinator."

Carpenter was one of four finalists for the job, which also included multiple state championship-winning coach Vic Grider of South Pittsburg. Grider was informed Monday he was no longer being considered for the position.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com. Follow @youngsports22 on Twitter.