Baxter’s Blitz

High school coaching shuffle questions abound in SC

scvarsity@ sc.rr.comDecember 21, 2012 

Headlining coaching changes:

ONE OF THE biggest stories in the state is the hiring away from Byrnes by Spartanburg High of football coach Chris Miller. Miller took over the Rebels in 2007 and compiled a 78-11 record with four state titles (2007-08, 2010-11).

Many people have asked about the move and there are certainly speculative reasons about possible friction between Miller and former coach and current district athletics director Bobby Bentley. But the fact that Miller will increase his salary and increase his retirement revenue level if he stays three years also were good reasons to switch.

Miller is a great football coach. With the talent that the Vikings have each year, he has a chance at bringing greatness back to the Spartanburg program.

I look for Byrnes to name Bentley as their coach as well as interviewing and naming a new district AD and public/community relations director. Bentley turned down an offer to become the quarterback coach at Auburn.

New River Bluff program

The new River Bluff High football coach has yet to be named, though interviews have concluded. A lot of excellent candidates applied. It will be interesting to see who lands it. I’m hearing that it could be former Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett, who is the athletic director at Socastee High.

Sumter High

job

The Sumter job remains open and could be the best job in the state to come open this year. This is a school that has plenty of bodies to get on the field as one of the largest schools in the state, a strong tradition, excellent athletes in the program and a fan base thirsting for returned success.

While they have been at the top before, Sumter is a sleeping giant, awaiting the right guy to return them to glory. I keep hearing about the job that “it is Reggie Kennedy’s to turn down.” Coach Kennedy, currently at Blythewood, is a strong candidate for any job that comes open, as he has proven success everywhere he has been.

The catch is the pay scale. With two other schools in the district, there will have to be creativity in the compensation plan for the new coach if they are planning on making it financially attractive; otherwise, they will have to bring the other two schools’ head guys up to the same level.

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