Eagles Athletics

Meet the Coach: Dale Earnhardt, girls basketball

Coach Dale Earnhardt leads our varsity girls basketball program and serves as Athletic Director. 
Coach Dale Earnhardt brings two decades of experience to the court as he leads the Lady Eagles girls basketball program. 

Coach Earnhardt came to Rabun Gap after serving as head girls coach at Asheville School for seven seasons and coaching boys basketball in Florida. He is in his 13th year of coaching basketball at Rabun Gap.

In addition to his coaching duties, Coach Earnhardt serves as Rabun Gap’s Athletic Director and started the football program in 2009.

For Coach Earnhardt, inspiring his players for future success is what coaching is all about. 

“I want my teams to strive for perfection on the court — each and every day of practice and during all games,” said Coach Earnhardt. “John Wooden spoke of ‘Making each day your masterpiece.’  I hope (my players) learn the necessary skills during the time in our program to be successful in their careers and with their families later in life.” 

Coach Earnhardt points to several key qualities that make a great Rabun Gap girls basketball player — “a passion for the game, a desire to improve, a mental toughness to handle the demands that I put on them as a coach and to deal with what our schedule requires of them as a student due to travel, length of season, and sacrifices of Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and finally, a love to carry on the tradition that has been set by the teams in recent past.” 

He’s led the Rabun Gap girls basketball program to new heights during his tenure as head coach. His teams have experienced much success in the NCISAA over the past 10 years, including state playoff berths in each of the past 12 seasons, eight consecutive Final Fours appearances, and three state championship games. Five Lady Eagles have earned Division 1 scholarships, while three others have played at the D2 or D3 level.  

For the past few years, his team’s motto has been ETJ - “Enjoy the Journey.” 

“I want the girls to learn that it is about the process...what they do during the off-season to improve their skills and help their team,” Coach Earnhardt said.

Coach Earnhardt has had many highlights throughout his coaching career, including the first state championship game in 2013 and upsetting Greensboro Day in the Final Four that year, but few compare to seeing his team beat Providence Day School to advance to the 2018 Final Four during his daughter Josie Earnhardt ‘18’s senior season. 

Coach Earnhardt has high hopes for his team this season.

“We have played one of the most difficult schedules during my 13 years here especially before Christmas break,” he said.  We have a tremendous amount of talent. I believe we can make it to the Final Four once again. We want to win the CAA Championship and advance to the NCISAA 4A State Championship Game for the fourth time in the past eight years."
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.