Former Berkeley High head football coach Jerry Brown stepped down as head coach at Spring Valley on Tuesday, ending his one-year run in his second stint at the Columbia area school.
Brown, who directed Berkeley’s program from 1993-2010 and led the program to three state championships, cited frustration with forming a coaching staff among other difficulties in his recent tenure.
Brown was accused on Jan. 8 of slapping a student during class and was placed on administrative leave by the school on Jan. 14. The Richland County sheriff’s department investigated the incident and found no malicious or criminal intent and dismissed the matter.
In his resignation letter, which Brown asked to be made public, the coach addressed the coaching staff situation as well as the recent allegations.
“Because of that situation plus recent events, I do not have the desire to continue as head football coach at Spring Valley. I appreciate being given this opportunity by Tim Hunter the AD, Jeff Temoney the principal, and Richland District 2,” Brown wrote. “I appreciate the time my coaches put in, and the players have done all we asked. But it was not a good fit for me and I would like to enjoy coaching as I help young people in the final decade of my career.”
Brown added: “I am not guilty of any misconduct and deny any allegations that I have acted inappropriately with intentional wrongdoing towards my players or any others. My dedication has been to better my team and the players and to see them succeed, and I wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
Brown served as head coach at Spring Valley from 1985-89, leading the Vikings to a state title in 1988. After stepping down at Berkeley following the 2010 season, Brown was out of coaching for one season before taking over the Batesburg-Leesville program. In two years, Brown was 17-8 and led the Panthers to the Division II-AA state title in 2013. He was 6-5 last season at Spring Valley.
Brown, who has a 258-113 career record as a head coach, was recently named head coach of the 2015 Shrine Bowl team. He will not be allowed to coach the all-star game if he is not coaching next season.
Northwood Academy senior forward Erika Martin is the lone Lowcountry nominee for the McDonald’s All-American basketball team.
Martin is one of nine South Carolina players nominated for the girls’ All-American game. Martin currently averages 13.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the 15-4 Chargers.
The other South Carolina players nominated include Akia Dunlap (Spring Valley), DeJoria Howard (Orangeburg-Wilkinson), Haniyyah Howard (Gray Collegiate), Taylour Hunter (Daniel), Ke’Asia Jackson (Irmo), Myranda Durham (Daniel), Kortni Simmons (West Florence) and Tianna Swearinger (Greenwood).
There are no local nominees for the boys All-American team but there are nine players from the state that are included on the nomination list, led by Spring Valley’s Perry Dozier Jr. and Dreher’s Tevin Mack.
Other boys nominees from South Carolina include J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Dorman), Elijah Casey (Spring Valley), Deion Holmes (Chesnee), DeAndre Nathaniel (Keenan), Jalen Williams (Wade Hampton) and Rayvon Witherspoon (Manning).
The McDonald’s All-American teams will be announced in March.
Hanahan senior defensive lineman Jacob Garibay has verbally committed to play football at Charleston Southern University next season. The 6-3, 240-pound Garibay was an all-region 8-AAA selection and played in the North-South All-Star game in December. He was a three-year starter at Hanahan.