Thousands of high school coaches, administrators meet in North Charleston

Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher will speak Sunday at the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association all-sports clinic in North Charleston. (File/AP)

More than 3,000 high school coaches and administrators from across the state are expected to gather in the Lowcountry over the next four days as the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association all-sports clinic takes place at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston.

The clinic begins on Sunday afternoon with Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher scheduled to speak to high school football coaches. The clinic, which runs through Wednesday, will include lectures in all sports and also serves as a meeting point for each coaching association in various sports.

Shell Dula, executive director of the SCACA, says the annual event serves as an official kickoff to the athletic year in South Carolina.

“It’s the only time of year that we have all coaches in all sports together in one setting and there are so many things going on and so much information to pass along,” said Dula, who joined the SCACA in 1969 and took over as executive director in 2009.

“Our goals with this clinic go far beyond the X’s and O’s of sports. We are working extremely hard to improve our coaches in all aspects of life and teaching.”

College coaches in various sports will speak throughout the three days and coaches will receive advice on various things outside the coaching realm, such as financial planning, retirement, medical aspects and legal do’s and don’ts.

“In today’s society, with all of the changes, we would be remiss in our duties as an association if we only talked about X’s and O’s for four days,” Dula said. “We cover it all. We even have four district school superintendents scheduled to speak on what their expectations are of coaches from an administrative point of view.”

Charleston County superintendent Gerrita Postlewait is one of the district administrators that will take part in the forum.

Dula says the state organization is the largest membership group in South Carolina, totaling more than 6,000 coaches and athletic administrators. That includes athletic leaders and coaches from nearly every college and university in the state, trickling down through the high schools and middle school coaches.

On Monday, Charleston Southern head football coach Jamey Chadwell will address the state’s football coaches in the morning, followed by lectures from members of the Clemson football staff in the afternoon.

Also on Monday, the state’s baseball coaches’ association is expected to discuss and approve a pitch-count system to use during the 2017 season. The National Federation of High Schools recently mandated that each state implements a pitch-count system to replace the current method of counting innings.

College of Charleston soccer coach Ralph Lundy will lecture on Monday, as will three-time Olympic gold medalist softball player Leah O’Brien-Amico.

The strength and conditioning staff of The Citadel will hold lectures and demonstrations throughout the week and The Citadel football staff will lecture on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday also includes an appearance by USC head coach Will Muschamp.

CSU men’s basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh and assistant B.J. McKie will speak on Tuesday afternoon to the state’s basketball coaches. College of Charleston volleyball coach Jason Kepner also will lecture on Tuesday.

In addition to picking up tips from college and high school coaches, each sport will conduct rules clinics. SCHSL executive director Jerome Singleton will speak each day on rule changes and other matters affecting various sports this coming year.

The clinic is not open to the public. Only registered coaches in the SCACA can attend the lectures and meetings.