Garinger High names Independence High legend DeAngelo Lloyd as its new football coach

Garinger High’s newest football coach, DeAngelo Lloyd, said he knows exactly what he’s getting himself into.

“I have to be patient,” said Lloyd, 45, “and I definitely understand the assignment.”

Lloyd was an All-American in high school at Independence in the 1990s. He was The Charlotte Observer’s player of the year during his career, which earned him a scholarship at Tennessee. Lloyd played on the Volunteers’ 1998 national championship team and also won two SEC championships while in Knoxville.

Earlier this year, The Observer named Lloyd one of the best high school football players from Charlotte in the past 40 years.

After college, Lloyd signed a free-agent deal with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. He later played for three seasons in NFL Europe and the Arena League.

He’s used to winning.

He’s going to place now where that has been a challenge.


Garinger High School athletics need a change. Here’s how Charlotte-Mecklenburg can help

Garinger was 0-10 in 2023 and was outscored 557-48. In 2022, the Wildcats were also 0-10 and outscored 448-63.

Lloyd will be the Wildcats’ eighth head coach since Lin Fisher left after the 2011 season. No team has won more than three games in a season.

Garinger hasn’t had a winning season since 2010, when it was 7-5 under Fisher. Before that, Garinger’s last winning season was under Barry Shuford in 1995, when the Wildcats went 6-4.

Garinger has lost 39 straight games and hasn’t won since Oct. 11, 2019, when it beat East Mecklenburg, 18-14.

Lloyd said he’s confident Garinger can turn things around.

“What I have to do is change (the players’) mindset,” Lloyd said. “I have to help them have an understanding of what they’re doing as student-athletes. I don’t think a lot of kids understand that.”

Lloyd has spent the past three seasons as the head football coach at Garinger’s feeder middle school, Eastway.

He said he started working with the middle school team as a volunteer but was asked to take over after the head coach retired.

Lloyd’s first team at Eastway won two games. His second one — with all seventh-grade skill position players new to football — didn’t win any games. His third team went 4-3.

The seventh-grade quarterback at Eastway who was new to football and had 12 interceptions two years ago only threw one as an eighth-grader.

Lloyd hopes to bring similar improvements to Garinger.

“They’ve been asking me (to coach at Garinger) for two years,” Lloyd said. “I felt I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to do high school yet. But I feel I’m ready now. I think the school needs a change and I feel like me and my (assistants and support staff) are the ones that can bring it.”