Timing, it is said, is everything, in sports and life in general. Perhaps no better example of that is Scott Earley.
Earley, the former head football coach at Lexington, Chapin and Mytle Beach high schools, has found a new coaching home -- his fourth one in less than six months. Earley has joined the Lakewood coaching staff.
“There was a position open for (a) PE (physical education teacher) and we were looking for a football coach and a PE coach all in that same breath, and the opportunity just presented itself,” Lakewood athletic coordinator Terrence Scriven said of how Earley came to be a part of the Gators program. “It wasn’t a situation where (Lakewood head) Coach (Perry) Parks or myself went out and said, ‘Let’s go find Scott Earley.’ What happened is he had a need and we had a need, and we were both able to fulfill those needs, and it just came to that.”
Earley, who has a career coaching record of 103-45 and led Myrtle Beach to the 2008 3A state title, resigned as Lexington's head coach in March after three years in that position. He then accepted the post as defensive coordinator at Blackville-Hilda before he was named the head coach at Seminole High in Sanford, Fla. That didn't pan out though because of contractual issues involving insurance concerns and Earley's time on the job at Seminole consisted of one week and one day of practice.
That has now led him to Lakewood.
“A week ago I was the head coach of the third-largest high school in the state of Florida at the 8A level,” Earley said. “Me and my wife and kids decided to come home and this is going to be my home for a while, and we’re very glad to be here and looking forward to it. “I’m looking forward to not being all things to all people for a while, just helping out and coaching football and being around kids" said Earley, who also served in the athletic director role at Lexington.”
Parks, who is entering his second year with the Gators after going 1-10 a year ago, said Earley will help him coach quarterbacks and be up on the press box as "his eyes" on game nights.
“He’ll keep me in line, and a lot of the stuff we’re doing is some of the stuff he was doing at Myrtle Beach, so he’s familiar with the type of offense we’re running,” Parks said of Earley. “This year I’ve been taking over play calling and all that’s doing is helping me manage the game better.
“He may have a question that I don’t know and I can reach to him,” Parks said. “He came to me the other day and I taught him something he didn’t know, so it’s good to have a guy like that on the staff.”
Earley called Lakewood a diamond in the rough, and said he thinks he’ll be a great addition to the staff because of his relationship with Parks. The two are no strangers to each other as Earley said Parks knew his former offensive coordinator at Myrtle Beach and Lexington, Chad Toothman, and the two were introduced when Parks was coaching in Atlanta.
“I watched Perry play (as a wide receiver at Coastal Carolina University), and I think he’s one of the greatest young coaches in the state of South Carolina,” Earley said. “He’s sharp and I think the more help he can get the better it’s going to make him and the more successful it’s going to make him.”
Moving forward, Earley said his role with the new team is to be a veteran guy and help out by bringing ideas to the team.
“I'm 42 (years old) and I feel like I’m 62 out here with these guys,” Earley said of the young Gator coaching staff. “It’s good to see their energy and their work ethic. They really do a good job and the community of Lakewood has a lot to be proud of because I have a feeling if they can get this guy here (Parks) to hang out, they’ll always put a product on the field they can be proud of.”