A new head football and baseball coach is planning to bring victory to Heathwood Hall.
Stephen Victory has been hired as head coach of the Highlanders baseball and football squads.
Victory, a Metairie, La., native and 1992 alumnus of Alabama, comes to Columbia from Metairie Park Country Day. He began his coaching career at Metairie Park, his alma mater, in 1994, when Whalen was the athletics director there.
Victory, who played baseball at Alabama, and said he is undaunted by the task coach two such demanding programs.
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“At a school Like Heathwood, there’s going to be a lot of the same athletes on both teams, the relationship will be there and I feel like it’s going to be great,” said Victory. “I just enjoy coaching both, I feel like have expertise in both and I want to contribute wherever I have the opportunity,” Victory said.
"I have known Steve for over 20 years after working with him in New Orleans. Steve understands the culture of Independent Schools, and is the kind of professional we all hope our own children encounter as an adult role model. Steve is an experienced coach with a strong work ethic,” Whalen said. “Steve’s philosophy fits well with the Heathwood mission that the young people in our athletics program are students first, athletes second."
Victory became head baseball coach at Metairie Park in 1998, and led the Cajuns to the Class A baseball championships in 2003. He also became the head football coach in 2003, and led that team to district championships in 2004 and 2006. He had a 29-8 record as head football coach and a 124-86 record as baseball coach there.
Victory then moved to Houston, Texas, where he led Kincaid School to the Southwest Preparatory Conference Championship game in 2009, his third season there.
For the last five years, Victory has served as a varsity assistant football and baseball coach at Metairie Park.
“My aspirations have always been to head coach. I’ve been an assistant for five years for a guy that’s been like a second father to me. He’s retiring this year, so it became an opportunity to move back into head coaching,” Victory said.
Victory said his relationship with Whalen, as well as his desire to be closer to family in Savannah, helped make Heathwood Hall the right fit.
At Heathwood, Victory succeeds football coach Jon Wheeler, who led the Highlanders to a 21-16 record in four seasons, and baseball coach Parker Bangs. Bangs will be leaving the Highlanders to join the college coaching ranks after guiding the squad for two seasons. Heathwood reached the second round of the SCISA Class 3A baseball tournament this season.
“He brings great experience,” said athletics director Jeff Whalen. “His demeanor is one that, he doesn’t get frustrated. He’s a very good coach in terms of keeping the kids on task. I know how organized Steve is and that’s one of the things that sold me on Steve. Nothing catches him by surprise.”
Victory said he and the Heathwood administration have not yet determined when he will begin working with either team, but said he looks forward to getting to work soon.