Irmo defensive coordinator Ronnie Baker will be the next football coach at Timmonsville High.
Irmo athletic director Reggie Kennedy said Baker accepted the job earlier this week. Baker couldn’t comment officially until he is released from his contract with Lexington-Richland School District 5. He also will be the school's athletic director.
The (Florence) Morning News was the first to report of Baker’s hire.
Baker replaces hall of fame coach Bill Tate, who won 328 games and two state titles in his two stints (41 years total) at Timmonsville. Tate was the first black head coach in the Shrine Bowl in 2004 and the stadium at Timmonsville is named after him.
“I was hoping to finish out my last year, because I was gonna retire after next season, anyway," Tate told the Morning News. "The explanation was they needed a third-grade teacher who could fill an education job and the football job. I had a group of players that I had coached since they were freshmen that I wanted to finish up with. But whoever is the next coach should have a good nucleus over there. They've got a good bunch.”
This is Baker’s second head coaching job. He was the head coach at Eau Claire from 2009-12.
Baker was the Yellow Jackets’ defensive coordinator this season and also was head boys' track coach. Before Irmo, he was a defensive coordinator at Chester for two years and at Sumter two seasons with Kennedy. The Gamecocks went to state championship in 2013.
Kennedy will look to replace Baker's position with an outside candidate first but might fill the opening with a member of his staff.