Lou Bezjak

Midlands coach quits after making controversial speech

Kevin Heise
Kevin Heise Tracy Glantz/tglantz@thestate.co

Brookland-Cayce boys soccer coach Kevin Heise has resigned his position.

"I have resigned to pursue other opportunities," Heise wrote in a text message to a reporter at The State.

Heise submitted his resignation on Wednesday.

Heise has been on administrative leave since Feb. 10 for a classroom incident in which he gave an impromptu speech to two students. The incident was recorded by a student in the class. During the speech, Heise also made comments in it about B-C athletic director Rusty Charpia, who is also the school’s football coach.

Neither Heise nor B-C administration would comment publicly about the incident or the punishment.

Last month, nearly 200 people came out wearing "I Support Heise" stickers attended a Lexington District Two school board meeting. More than 2,100 signatures were signed on a petition on change.org, calling for Heise to be reinstated.

Al Stevens of a Brookland-Cayce soccer family speaks his concerns about the fate of B.C. soccer coach Kevin Heise.

"We just want to support coach Heise," former B-C soccer player and 2006 graduate Kevin Ross said March 16. "He’s been around since we were, probably, third-graders and he’s followed us and helped us all the way through college and into adulthood. He’s always been there for us. He’s just a good guy that is in an unfortunate situation."

The soccer community around the state also rallied around Heise. Coach Dick Smith and Katie Smith Clampitt, who are on the board of the S.C. High School Coaches Association, voiced their support of Heise and asked for others to do the same.

Heathwood Hall coach Andrew Richardson said B-C definitely will be different without Heise.

“It won't be the same, and I hate that for those B-C kids,” Richardson posted on Twitter. “Proud to say that I wore Maroon & Black for @kpheise2.”

Heise is one of the winningest boys soccer coaches in state history. He has 454 victories since taking over the Bearcats’ program in 1991 and his teams have made it to the playoffs 23 straight seasons. B-C has won three lower state championships and 15 region titles.

Heise also began the Nike Palmetto Cup, which is one of the top soccer tournaments in the state each spring.

Robby Setzler, Heise’s brother-in-law, has been the interim coach in his absence. The fourth-ranked Bearcats are 16-5 and leading Region 5-3A with a 6-0 record.