High School Sports

Aldridge returns home to take over Spring Valley

Even though he was at his 18th place of employment in a 38-year coaching career, Miles Aldridge said this month he wasn't seeking a new job.

The nomadic coaching lifestyle dictated otherwise.

So when the Mullins High football coach answered a call from his hometown, the former South Carolina and Clemson assistant found himself on the move again.

Aldridge accepted the job as football coach at Spring Valley High, allowing the A.C. Flora graduate to return to the Midlands.

"My main purpose is coaching football," Aldridge said Tuesday. "(Spring Valley) has a lot of resources that can help me be a better coach. I love Mullins, and Mullins was good to me. It has nothing to do with being unhappy. This is just an opportunity to help me in coaching."

Aldridge's hiring must be approved by the Richland School District 2 board, which meets next month.

Spring Valley athletics director Tim Hunter said Aldridge easily topped a list of more than 65 applicants.

"I've known Miles a long time," Hunter said. "When I was a young assistant coach and he was recruiting, we used to talk football. I've always liked and respected Miles. He was my first phone call, and things worked out from there. I think he's going to be a tremendous hire for our program."

In his lone season at Mullins, Aldridge led the Auctioneers to a 5-6 record in 2009. The Auctioneers won their final two regular-season games, outscoring Aynor and Marion by a combined 69-7, to earn a Class 2A playoff berth. They lost in the first round to Timberland.

A 1967 A.C. Flora graduate, Aldridge was an assistant at Clemson from 1985-89 under Danny Ford before leaving for USC to become Sparky Woods' defensive coordinator from 1990-93. He returned to Clemson as defensive coordinator from 1994-96.

Aldridge coached in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills from 2001-03.

Along the way, he's also coached in college at Mississippi, N.C. State, Arkansas, Duke, Central Florida, Middle Tennessee State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Buffalo, Tulsa, East Tennessee State and Wichita State.

After he graduated from Gardner-Webb (N.C.) University, his coaching career began in 1971 as an assistant coach at Chase High in Forest City, N.C. He was an assistant at Newberry High in 1972 before moving to the college ranks the next year.

His task now is to pull the Vikings out of a three-year funk; Spring Valley went 3-30 under Quay Farr, who resigned last month.

"Miles will be a perfect fit for Spring Valley," Hunter said. "Along with his vast experiences, he is a man that will very quickly earn the respect of the players and coaches. He will give our program a jump-start to success both on and off of the field. Miles will be a valued asset to the Spring Valley community."