David Bennett is one step closer to becoming the next athletics director at Socastee High School.
Principal Paul Browning, who was in the office Monday for the first time since returning from a trip to Europe with his family, said Bennett has passed the advanced test required to recertify him as a teacher. Although he is not fully certified yet, it does allow Browning and the rest of the committee to officially submit Bennett’s name to Horry County Schools.
The principal said he would file the recommendation-to-hire form to the district in the “next 24 hours.” History has shown the district rarely overrules athletics hires from the nine high schools once a candidate’s name has been submitted via a committee.
“That was part of the job description, making sure he had been certified,” Browning said. “That was the holdup. He’s taken the test and passed.”
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Browning added that he believed the process – originally slowed since the posting for the job closed in April – would be smooth from here until completion.
“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be,” he said. “He was the recommendation of the committee.”
Bennett was not immediately available for comment, but had indicated in June that there was mutual interest in the job.
Bennett served as the Coastal Carolina football coach during the Chanticleers’ first nine seasons. He led them to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in the team’s fourth year, and then again in 2010.
He amassed a 63-39 overall record. However, he was fired in December and ultimately signed a buyout worth $925,000 in April.
The salary range for the athletics director position between base pay and supplemental pay is $51,205-$97,461, with Bennett likely falling somewhere in the middle third of that range based on his experience.
The Socastee athletics director position is no ceremonial hire. It requires approximately 60- to 70-hour work weeks for the majority of the school year. It includes coordination of budgets, travel, officials, security and tournaments.
The AD will also be responsible for – as outgoing Athletics Director Roger Dixon was – teaching at least one class every fall.
Bennett and the name of one other candidate were prepared to be recommended to the district. However, the other candidate – an administrator at an out-of-area school – decided to stay in his current position.
An official announcement from Socastee could come as early as next week.
USBA National Championships
The United States Basketball Association National Championships are upon us again.
Approximately 100 boys teams from eighth through 12th grade have arrived in North Myrtle Beach. The teams are fighting for their chance at one of six national titles USBA will hand out this weekend. The squads came from the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest (USBA holds a separate National Championship for Western teams).
Pool play began Monday morning and will continue through Thursday. At that point, seedings for the national tournaments in the respective age levels will be set.
Games are being played at North Myrtle Beach High School (main gym), J. Bryan Floyd Rec Center, the North Strand Rec Center, North Myrtle Beach Christian School, North Myrtle Beach Middle School, First Baptist Church, the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic and Fitness Center, Socastee High School, West Brunswick High School, Loris High School and Brunswick Community College.
Day passes are $9 for adults and $8 for students. Weekly passes will be sold at North Myrtle Beach High and are available through 2 p.m. Tuesday.
The week’s events will also include a “hot shot” and 3-point contests. The eighth- and 10th-grade levels will be played at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; the ninth- and 11th/12th-grade levels will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. All of those will take place at North Myrtle Beach High School.
For more information, fans can visit www.usbahoops.com.
These national championships chased the girls titles, which were played in North Myrtle Beach during the last week of June. The title tournaments for boys in fourth through seventh grades will begin July 16. Those for boys in grade three will start July 18.