High School Sports

Veteran coach steps down at Cardinal Newman

After four seasons, Mike Bolchoz is turning over the Cardinal Newman football program to his trusted assistant.

Bolchhoz said Monday he is stepping down as Cardinals coach and defensive coordinator Andy Smyth has been promoted to the top job.

Bolchoz, who will remain as Cardinal Newman's assistant principal, led the Cardinals to an 8-30 record, including 1-9 this season.

He said he chose to step down so he could have weekends free to follow his son, Michael Bolchoz, Jr., during his college career at Campbell, where he is a freshman linebacker this season.

"I think the timing is right," said Bolchoz, who came to Cardinal Newman from Bishop England in 2006. "I've done all I can do and need to do. From a win-loss standpoint, we haven't been successful. But the biggest component is we have someone full-time on our faculty who will do an outstanding job. I have no worries."

The 42-year-old Smyth, the Cardinals' defensive coordinator the past two seasons, brings 19 seasons of S.C. High School League experience to the job.

He was head coach at Battery Creek High for four seasons and an assistant at Beaufort High one season before coming to Cardinal Newman in 2008. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant coach at Seneca and Daniel.

Smyth played defensive line at Presbyterian, graduating in 1989. He said making football a priority for Cardinal Newman athletes will be his main focus.

"We're down and looking up at a lot of things," Smyth said. "We have several challenges, none of which we can't overcome. We have to look at tweaking some of the approaches we have been taking. We have to get stronger and do more things in the summer with 7-on-7 (passing leagues)."