Batesburg-Leesville hired one of its own to be its next football coach.
Former B-L player and current assistant Gary Adams was approved Tuesday as the school’s next coach at a Lexington 3 School Board meeting. Adams replaces Perry Woolbright, who left to become coach at Lexington.
Adams played linebacker, safety and tight end at B-L and was a member of the Panthers’ state title team in 1995. He went on to play at Liberty University.
“Growing up in Batesburg-Leesville has helped me to understand the kids and people of the community,” Adams said. “I have had the job and privilege of coaching the kids of our community and during this time, I have managed to gain their trust and their respect. They know that I am here for them and I absolutely love what I do.
“I have always tried to instill the word respect into every student and athlete that I have dealt with and that basic understanding of who I am as a coach and as a person has helped to build great relationships on and off the field, court and track.”
Adams has been an assistant coach for 16 seasons and has been at B-L since 2006. He and was the defensive coordinator last year.
Adams also is the school’s track coach and has coached soccer and girls basketball.
“Happy for my boy Gary Adams on being named the new head football coach for Batesburg-Leesville. They are in good hands!!” Woolbright posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
The Panthers advanced to the Class 2A state championship game this season, losing to Abbeville. B-L finished fourth in the region and won four playoff games on the road to get to the title game.
B-L graduates several key players from last year’s team, but returns quarterback Bishop Cannon and linebacker Tristan Wheeler.
Adams will be one of 10 new football coaches in the Midlands next season. Only C.A. Johnson has yet to name a new coach. Spring football practice can begin the Palmetto State in the first week of May.