High School Sports

Blythewood, Saitz part ways

After moving to Class 4A, can Blythewood and coach Geremy Saitz match last season’s undefeated regular season?
After moving to Class 4A, can Blythewood and coach Geremy Saitz match last season’s undefeated regular season?

Geremy Saitz is out after four seasons as football coach of the Blythewood Bengals, athletics director Vince Lowery said Thursday.

“We felt like we wanted to go in a different direction,” Lowery said. “We appreciate everything Geremy has done for our program. But at this time, we feel like it’s in our best interest to go under new guidance.”

In four seasons, Saitz compiled a 27-17 record, which included a 10-0 mark in his first season. The Bengals are coming off a 4-8 season that ended with a 41-31 loss to Summerville in the opening round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs.

“We had a difference in philosophies,” Saitz said. “I wanted to hold players accountable for their actions, to work and be disciplined. The ones that didn’t do that were not going to be a part of our program. I thought it was a privilege to play football for Blythewood and wanted our young men to take that same approach.”

Blythewood won the Class 3A championship in 2006 under the guidance of Jeff Scott, who left for Presbyterian College after one season. Reggie Shaw replaced Scott, but he resigned before coaching a game.

The Bengals were banned from the 2007 playoffs as punishment for practicing in full pads in May and in late July before the start of fall practice, a violation of S.C. High School League rules. Shaw stepped down at that point, and Saitz took over on an interim basis.

The Bengals finished the season undefeated, and Saitz was given the job full-time.

“I was grateful that the administration at Blythewood gave me the opportunity to be a head coach,” Saitz said. “I took over in a very difficult situation, but we were able to go in the right direction after that.”

Before assuming the head coaching position, Saitz served as defensive line coach and special teams coordinator. He has been at Blythewood since its opening in 2005. He previously coached at Brookland-Cayce, Richland Northeast and Ridge View.

“I loved coaching those players,” Saitz said. “My goal was to mold young men to where they could be productive members of society. I sat the bar high, and I believe that is where the difference in philosophies came into play.”