A friend of a friend-Mackie Register-Rachel Diehl-June 4

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for June 4, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

On Tuesday evening my wife and I continued a two-week journey into watching our youngest son Mack finish his high school education. He will graduate from Lumberton (NC) High School on June 12 and the weeks leading up to commencement will include some milestone events. On Sunday he participated in a Baccalaureate ceremony at church and on Tuesday it was the Athletic Awards program at the high school. Today and Friday he will take his last exams and then next week he will graduate. He is off to East Carolina University in the fall.

As we walked into the Athletic Award program on Tuesday we encountered one of the head coaches at the high school who has been a long-time friend of our family. Her name is Rachel White Diehl. Rachel is a dear friend of my daughter Becca and is one of the former babysitters for our son Mack.

Rachel Diehl far left -Becca Kenney center

Rachel and Becca

I am not sure who had the harder time dealing with the fact that our son was graduating. Was it Rachel as she looked at Mack and wondered where the time went since he was in preschool or me realizing that he was about to graduate.

Rachel today is a health teacher and bowling coach at Lumberton High School. She is married to Matt Diehl who like Rachel is a graduate of UNC Pembroke. I was fortunate to have Matt in one of the freshman seminar classes I taught at the university.

Matt and Rachel have a wonderful daughter named Ruth that is truly precious, cute, and smart all rolled into one.

Rachel and Ruthie

Rachel is someone who gives back to the community in a lot of different ways but probably no more evident than her agreeing to serve as a choreographer for a fundraiser in our community that benefits the United Way called “Dancing with the Stars”. She has served as choreographer for several years and has help dance couples like Andrew Bullard and Hayley Simmons-2015 champions and John Atkinson and Bridgette Carter Black. The Dancing with the Stars event helped the United Way raised over $131,000 in 2015.

Rachel has also experienced success as the high school’s bowling coach. In 2015 she led the Pirates bowling team to a top five finish in the state.

Rachel is one of the many head coaches that are employed at Lumberton High School. All of them currently report to Mackie Register who is the Athletic Director and one of Rachel’s friends.


Rachel Bio

The Friend of the Friend-MACKLIE REGISTER

AD-Stands for All Duties

On Tuesday night I witnessed the Athletic Director at Lumberton High School go thru a lot of different roles and emotions during the high school awards ceremony. On the high school level and to some extent on the small college level an Athletic Director truly has to wear a lot of different hats. Mackie Register the Lumberton AD is like that.

Mackie has been at Lumberton HS for 23 years. During that time he has become friends with a lot of coaches and student athletes. On Tuesday night he made awards in three different roles. He presented as the Head Boys Basketball Coach, Head Softball Coach, and Athletic Director. He gave out awards to his teams with the pride and emotion of head coach. He had to make presentation as the athletic director and he had to make sure those awards where presented representing the entire school not just one sport. He handled the multi-tasking well.

One of the things that Mackie did on Tuesday night that moved me was he recognized people in the community that had made an impact. He called those awards Pirate Impact Awards.

I watched Mackie go thru the emotions of recognizing a friend that was going to retire as a coach. He lost his composure  when he presented retiring Baseball Coach Paul Hodges with one of those awards. As a former assistant baseball coach under Paul, Mackie Register knew that their relationship has always been more than just baseball or coaching. The two are friends off the field and participated in each other’s weddings. They had been together thru a lot and that was the basis of their relationship not that Mackie was the A.D.

When you are an A.D. you truly have to be about ALL DUTIES. Mackie is one of those athletic directors that never forget that one of most important duties as a leader is being a friend to the people you lead.


  1. Dan,
    I love how you capture an event then make it a great story! God has blessed you with a gift and I am happy to see you use it in a great catching way.
    your pal

    1. Thanks -see you this weekend

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