Eau Claire has picked one of its own to be the new coach of its football program.
Former Shamrock standout Michael Kelly recently was named the school’s new coach. He replaces Jermaine Derricott, who resigned after two seasons.
“It’s a chance to come back home,” Kelly said. “You know the history hasn’t been the best. But ultimately, I want to give back and help the kids receive the same thing I had, which was to be earn a scholarship and be successful.”
Kelly said he is going to put a priority onbuilding relationships with the kids and an emphasis on helping them in the classroom and on the field.
Kelly played footballand basketball and ran track at Eau Claire. He earned a scholarship to Norfolk State and was first-team all-MEAC defensive end in 2001.
Sincecollege, he has been an assistant at Calhoun County, Kingstree and the past two seasons at Wilson High School in Florence. He was defensive coordinator for Wilson as the Tigers went from three to six wins in 2017 and a playoff appearance.
At Eau Claire, he inherits a rebuilding program. The Shamrocks won three games under Greg Wright in 2015 but that was their highest win total since winning four games in 2010. EC’s last winning season came in 1986.
Kelly has met with most of the team and will go back and forth from Wilson and Eau Claire until he gets things worked out with both districts. He will be on field with the team when spring practice begins in May.
With Kelly’s hire, there are two openings in the Midlands at Ben Lippen and Heathwood Hall.