Positivity: Jason Amy reflects on his time as Seaforth’s athletic director

Amy will remain at Seaforth and teach physical education.


Although Friday was officially his final day, Jason Amy’s 14 year run as an athletic director, 11 at Northwood and three at Seaforth, made its final dance in a state championship match.

As the young, yet fast and dominant Seaforth girls’ soccer team fought tooth and nail in a 0-0 battle with Pine Lake Prep for the 2024 2A state title, Amy, who had often seen these types of games go the wrong way for his programs, had no doubt that this stage of his life would go out with a bang.

“The furthest thing from my mind was us not winning,” Amy, the 2020-21 North Carolina High School Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year, said.

That was also the case when he led the start of Seaforth’s athletic program three years ago, and his peers told him it would take two to three years to start seeing success. Just a few months after opening its doors, Seaforth started sending teams to the state playoffs, and a year later, athletes started winning state championships.

The girls’ soccer team even sent Amy off with a sweet victory as he envisioned. And as he reflected on his journey as Seaforth’s athletic director, Amy found that the key to the eventful ride was the positivity that didn’t fear doubt or the reality of failure.

“I think the biggest thing was having the confidence in myself, making sure that we focused on just being positive to the kids, working hard and not worrying about winning, but worrying about being our best.” Amy said.

Amy developed that mindset in his five years of serving in the Marine Corps.

“It was kind of that life altering experience where I was just trained to understand that there’s only one way to accomplish a mission, and that’s through teamwork and through positivity,” Amy said.

When starting Seaforth’s athletic program in 2021, Amy wanted the entire school to share the same vision in regard to school pride and creating an athletic experience that everyone, even the non-athletes, could enjoy. While working with the new staff to get things underway, Amy operated by a quote from Henry Ford that read, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

“I told all the coaches our vision of Seaforth athletics is (to) provide all student athletes quality leadership, fellowship, (and) selfless service to make athletics a positive experience,” Amy said.

Fostering that kind of environment at Northwood, with the help of Cameron Vernon, Northwood’s current athletic director, at his side for a few years, worked well for Amy, especially with certain standards already set solid relationships already built in the community.

But for a blank canvas of a school, building a successful culture from the ground up was much more of a daunting task.

Colin Fegeley, the first and current athletic director at Green Level High School, told Amy that “the most fun (he would) never want to do is starting a new school.”

“It was so true because you go through so many different evolutions of success,” Amy said. “Just getting a coaching staff together, to me, was a huge success and getting all these students to actually say, ‘you know what? I want to go to this brand-new school of freshmen and sophomores and compete at varsity levels.’”

The other small successes, including handling the influx of equipment and putting bleachers together — more fun he was told he wouldn’t want to do — very quickly turned into the fruits that almost every athletic director would want out of a first year, especially at a school full of underclassmen.

The boys’ and girls’ basketball, girls’ and boys’ tennis, boys’ lacrosse, wrestling, and girls’ soccer teams all made the playoffs in their first year of competition. With the highly touted basketball recruit Jarin Stevenson making the move from Northwood to Seaforth in 2021 and his dad Jarod starting the basketball program as the head coach, the school even received some national attention in the college basketball world.

“Having the whole entire Stevenson family be a part of our startup contributed to a lot of the fact that we’re even being known in the whole state,” Amy said. “It was tough that he made the decision to reclassify, but it was also a proud moment. It was a first ever. That was the first ever (Seaforth) student athlete to graduate early and go off to Alabama. It was nothing I’ve ever experienced before in my life.”

Following Stevenson’s departure in 2023, Seaforth dove even further into being a household name in the realm of North Carolina prep sports because it wasn’t just about athletes signing to big schools or teams just making the playoffs anymore, Seaforth began to compete for state titles.

By year three, Amy’s program had built budding powerhouses in girls’ basketball, girls’ soccer, wrestling, track and field and volleyball — all teams with talented young cores. Track and field and cross country picked up some individual champions, girls’ basketball had already made a state title appearance, wrestling broke through for its first individual team title and its first two individual state champions and volleyball made it to the fourth round of the playoffs all by spring. The baseball team also had a breakout year in 2024 with a youthful squad that made it to the third round of the playoffs.

“Watching team success is probably the highest admiration that I have in regard to (me helping) cultivate and manifest some of the things that transpired in that group,” Amy said. “I feel like as an athletic director, we find the best coaches and the best people that can kind of cultivate a positive culture, and success will take care of itself.”

Said Amy, “And for each coach, what can I do? Is there anything I can take off (their) plate so (they) can just focus on the game, focus on practices (and) focus on the little things because there’s so many distractions.”

Despite all that Seaforth athletics achieved in its first three years, Amy was never meant to be the athletic director for long, though.

Amy was nearing the year requirement for state retirement after leaving Northwood, and in his interview process with Tripp Crayton, Seaforth’s first principal, Amy made it clear he only had three years left as an athletic director.

“I want to learn how to deescalate, take a little bit more time for my family and reprogram myself because it’s been a 14-year run of waking up really early and staying really late,” Amy said. “Now, I want to just learn how to spend my time a little bit different.”

Said Amy, “It was tough because we never want to leave anything, especially when things are going so well. But I’m not technically leaving.”

Amy will still be a Hawk, teaching physical education at Seaforth. Jared Worley, one of Amy’s former student athletes from his days at Northwood, will take over as Seaforth’s new athletic director and try to fill in the big shoes that Amy left behind.

“(Worley) has hit the ground running,” Amy said. “He is so motivated about seeing things even better than what I’m leaving it…I told him you have to continue doing who you are, and that’s being the hardest working person you can. Just keep making those positive impacts.”

As the door closes on Amy’s time as an athletic director, the sadness of the finality still doesn’t overshadow his gratitude and excitement for the ride it was.

“I’m extremely happy, but it’s a sad time because of all of the success, everything that comes with it, the relationships and just having that ability of getting everybody involved and buying into a philosophy which is ‘we are Seaforth,’” Amy said. “(That was) a huge commitment for me and my family and everyone involved. There’s so many thank you's to be shared for making things happen…It’s a community involvement. “