Football: Brown in at Spring Valley; Hanna out at Irmo

Special to The StateApril 29, 2014 

Bob Hanna is stepping down as football coach at Irmo High.

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A shake-up of the Midlands football coaching scene occurred Tuesday with the hiring of a new coach at Spring Valley and the resignation of Bob Hanna as athletics director/football coach at Irmo.

A week after resigning from Batesburg-Leesville, Jerry Brown was approved by the Richland Two School Board on Tuesday night as the new coach at Spring Valley, sources confirmed. He is expected to be introduced at a news conference Wednesday at the school. Brown won a state championship as coach of the Vikings in 1988.

Brown also made stops at Berkeley, Fairfield Central (one-year as athletics director) and Batesburg-Leesville. He won Class 4A, Division II state championships with Berkeley in 1994, 1996 and 2009 and capped his two years with the Panther by winning the Class 2A, Division II this past December. Batesburg-Leesville won one game the year prior to Brown’s arrival before improving to 5-6 his first year and 12-2 this past year.

Brown will replace Miles Aldridge, who resigned at the end of March to take the head position at William A. Hough High in Cornelius, N.C. Aldridge went 28-19 in four seasons with Spring Valley, including a 12-1 mark last season in which the Vikings completed an unbeaten regular season before losing in the second round of the Class 4A, Division I playoffs.

Efforts to reach Brown were unsuccessful Tuesday night.

Hanna confirmed he turned in his resignation at Irmo on Tuesday morning. Hanna joined Irmo in 1994 as football coach and athletics director. The Yellow Jackets won nine region titles and had three Class 4A runner-ups finishes during his tenure. Hanna recently won the Class 4A Athletics Director of the Year award from the South Carolina Athletic Administration Association.

Hanna, who is from McKeesport, Pa., and starred at the University of North Carolina, has spent 43 years in coaching, 35 as a head coach on the high school level. He has an overall record of 257-169-2.

“You know, 43 years of doing this is a long time,” Hanna said. “I’m at social security age and, really, what I’m making and what I’ll be getting after I retire is about the same. I thought it would be a good thing to do.”

Hanna recently sold some property and decided the time was right to make a move. He is expected to leave the Midlands area and move to North Myrtle Beach.

He spoke highly of his time at Irmo.

“It’s been a good run,” Hanna said. “I can say 20 years went pretty quick. I can still remember coming down here, and we started out 2-9. We did pretty good after that year, but I thought I was going to get fired after one year. The school, administration and community has provided great support. The kids have been phenomenal over the years, but it’s time to retire and go on to my next life.”

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