High School Football

Former Irmo football coach Bob Hanna joining Conway football staff

Irmo head coach Bob Hanna disputes a call during the game between South Pointe High School at Irmo High School.
Irmo head coach Bob Hanna disputes a call during the game between South Pointe High School at Irmo High School. jblake@thestate.com

Twelve years after Bob Hanna served under Chuck Jordan for a statewide all-star game, the two are reprising that connection full-time.

The long-time Irmo head coach has joined Jordan’s Conway staff as an assistant. Hanna brings with him plenty of clout based on a boatload of victories in both of the Carolinas.

In addition to his own success, Hanna also has relationship spanning two decades with the man he’s now working for.

“Bob and I have been friends a long time,” Jordan said Tuesday morning. “When Bob retired from Irmo [after the 2013 season], we talked about him coming here then. It isn’t something that just popped up.

“When he left West Brunswick, he said ‘What can I do to help?’”

Hanna, who moved to Crescent Beach section of North Myrtle Beach in 2014, spent last fall as the coach at West Brunswick (N.C.). He told The Sun News in an interview last August prior to a game against Myrtle Beach that he pledged a three-year commitment to the Trojans football program. Despite starting 0-3 with losses to a trio of Grand Strand teams, he led a team starting at least 13 underclassmen in every game to a 5-7 record.

However, he was relieved of his duties in April, the school citing a need to go “in a new direction.”

That left Hanna, who also said last year he wished to remain in coaching without serving as an athletics director, looking for a new job.

Conversations between he and Jordan re-started, and they led him to a position coaching defensive line for the Tigers. He’s already attended a few coaching meetings, and he’ll be working alongside the rest of the staff when Spring ball begins next week.

“I think I can help Conway,” Hanna said. “It’s a good staff. It’s a young staff. I think it’s the right fit for me. I will do the best I can to make this decision the right one.”

According to published records, Hanna was 163-93 in 20 seasons at Irmo and 262-176-2 overall between his time with the Yellow Jackets and at five North Carolina high schools.

That overall win tally combined with Jordan’s 260 gives the Tigers 522 victories between the two men. Jordan currently sits inside the top 15 all-time of all coaches whose numbers come solely in-state.

The the addition to the Tigers’ staff had more to do with mutual respect than wins.

“I’ve known Chuck for 20-plus years. We’re pretty good friends,” said Hanna, who was an assistant under Jordan for the 2003 North-South All-Star game. “He’s given me an opportunity to come help. He’s a good man, and he does it the right way.”

The Tigers are coming off a 2-9 season but have raised expectations in 2015 given the return of many of its most influential offensive weapons. Leading that list is recent South Carolina commitment and standout receiver Bryan Edwards. Along with quarterback Peyton Derrick and tailback Jah’Maine Martin, the Conway offense should be much improved.

Now, Hanna will have his hand in trying to help the Tigers defense.

“I think my perfect job when I am fired one day wouldn’t be cold-turkey retirement,” Jordan said. “It would be to go coach a position somewhere. … I’ve got a lot of respect for Bob. I always have.”