Sumter turns to former Blythewood coach Kennedy

01/03/2013 9:46 PM

05/15/2014 5:03 PM

The long-rumored No. 1 candidate for the jobs of Sumter High football coach and athletics coordinator officially was named to the posts on Thursday.

Reggie Kennedy, whose name was at the forefront of public discussion after Paul Sorrells resigned the posts in November, will take over the Gamecocks program after spending the past two seasons as football coach and assistant athletics director at Blythewood High.

Kennedy, who was a star linebacker on East Clarendon High’s 1985 Class A football state championship team and was an All-Mid Eastern Athletic Conference linebacker at South Carolina State, has 17 years of experience as a head football coach and 14 years as an athletics director. He owns a career record of 131-81 and led Blythewood to a 9-3 mark this past season. The Bengals beat the Gamecocks 37-22 this past season.

A nine-member selection committee interviewed six applicants. The other two finalists were Georgetown High’s Brantley Adams and Williston-Elko’s Dwayne Garrick.

“Coach Kennedy has a proven track record of success, possesses strong organizational skills and has the ability to recruit and retain athletes,” Sterling Harris, who was the principal at Fairfield Central High in Winnsboro when Kennedy was in his second stint as the school’s coach, said in the press release.

Kennedy was unavailable for comment despite numerous attempts to contact him.

Kennedy will receive a base salary of $65,465 (an annual 233-day teacher contract based on his teaching/education degree experience) beginning in the 2013-14 school year, according to Galloway. The head coach supplement based on Kennedy’s 18 years of experience at the start of the next school year is $8,500, and he will receive $13,055 for the athletics coordinator supplement based on overseeing 37 sports teams at SHS. That’s a total of $87,465.

Prior to his two years at Blythewood, Kennedy served as coach and AD at Fairfield Central, Orangeburg-Wilkinson and Kingstree.

He has led his teams to seven region championships, including Blythewood getting a share of the Region IV crown this past season.

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