The three-month trek to hire David Bennett as the next athletics director at Socastee High School is finally complete.
The former Coastal Carolina football coach has been approved by Horry County Schools, and already, Bennett’s got plenty on his agenda. There are coaching hires to make and sponsors to recruit.
That said, his notoriety on the Grand Strand is something Socastee hopes will usher in a new era of sports at the Class AAA school.
“It will certainly be an advantage,” Principal Paul Browning said of hiring the well-known Bennett. “The athletics director’s job is a hard job and time-consuming job. It takes probably 60-70 hours a week. He’ll be a great link to the community and a great influence on our coaching staffs and our student-athletes.
“That’s going to be a real good link with local business. At a time when all the high schools are competing for sponsorships, his track record her as a person can only be a benefit to us.”
Browning specifically mentioned Bennett’s work with charitable organizations. The most noticeable is the David Bennett Foundation, the group behind Collin’s Kids.
However, Browning also made it clear once more this is no figurehead position. He said Bennett – who could not immediately be reached by The Sun News – will have to be a “work horse” in order to succeed in this job.
Currently, the school is searching for a girls tennis coach, boys tennis coach and junior varsity cheerleading sponsor. Practice for the girls tennis season starts Friday. There’s also a fall sports media guide to put out.
According to Browning, Bennett has been working with outgoing Athletics Director Roger Dixon on several fronts, including getting in line with the requirements of the South Carolina High School League.
All of that may not leave time for coaching, be it football or one of Bennett’s other loves, golf. Dixon helped out with football, but only after years of experience as an administrator in high school sports.
“The learning curve for Dave is going to be so steep in terms of learning all the requirements of the high school league and the job,” Browning said. “… It probably wouldn’t be a good idea for him to start coaching. He’s got a big elephant in front of him.”
Socastee has tentatively planned an official news conference to introduce Bennett for Monday. At that time, he’ll continue to make the transition from football coach to athletics director.