Coaching changes at West Ashley, Stall, Palmetto Christian Academy

Mitch Miggenburg resigned Monday as West Ashley's baseball coach. (Jeff Hartsell/Post and Courier)

Coming off the best season in school history, West Ashley head baseball coach Mitch Miggenburg resigned on Monday.

Miggenburg will be moving to Traverse City, Michigan, with his wife Becky, who has accepted a job as a physical therapist in her hometown.

"It has always been a goal of ours to get back closer to home but honestly we figured it might be another year," said Miggenburg, who hails from Indianapolis. "It all happened very quickly in the last few weeks. This is a family decision and Becky and I now look forward to building our lives closer to our families."

Miggenburg spent the last seven seasons as the head coach at West Ashley, taking over the program after one season as an assistant under Dave Spurlock. The College of Charleston product was the head coach at Academic Magnet prior to moving to West Ashley.

Miggenburg struggled for several years to build the West Ashley program into a competitive force, but over the last two years, the Wildcats were among the best teams in class AAAA. West Ashley won a school-record 17 games in 2013 and shattered that record in 2014, posting a 23-7 record.

"We are very proud of what we accomplished and I felt like next season would be another really good year for us," said Miggenburg, the 2014 Lowcountry Coach of the Year. "The program is in great shape. We have great kids here at West Ashley and baseball has become very important around here now.

"It's a bittersweet feeling right now. I hate to leave such a solid thing but family is always going to be most important. As much as I hate to leave, I am really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives."

Miggenburg leaves a job without having a job in Michigan but admits he had begun the process of looking into several schools in the area back in the spring.

"It's a leap of faith on our part but I am sure things will work out for me," he said. "I have some applications in at some places and things will work out in time. We really were not sure it would happen this summer but things fell into place quickly."

Stall hires Bessinger

Stall High School will have a new football coach this fall as Joe Bessinger steps in to replace former coach Johnny Boykin, who stepped down earlier this summer.

Bessinger is no stranger to Stall, having worked on Boykin's staff for the last three seasons, in addition to one year under former coach Mitch White.

Bessinger is a 1992 graduate of Wando High School. He coached three seasons under Dickey Dingle at Wando and spent nine years as an assistant at North Charleston.

"I'm very excited to finally have an opportunity to be a head coach," said Bessinger. "I have worked under and worked with some outstanding men and football coaches. I feel like I have prepared myself for this opportunity and we're very excited about the potential we have at Stall High School."

PCA's Daniel steps down

Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, Palmetto Christian Academy head coach and athletic director Jim Daniel stepped down in late June.

Daniel started the football program at Palmetto Christian, a private school in Mount Pleasant, in 2008.

In 2009, Palmetto Christian won the SCISA Class A state championship. Daniel compiled a 33-28 record at the school, making the state playoffs in four of the last five seasons. The 2014 Eagles were 7-4 and reached the state semi-finals in class AA.

Daniel will enter the private business sector and will work in the family industrial supply business. Prior to coming to PCA, Daniel posted a 43-36 record during a seven-year run as the head coach at Bishop England. The 1992 North Carolina State graduate also coached at North Carolina State, Charleston Southern and The Citadel.

Assistant coach Chris Shimakonis will assume duties as head football coach while the school searches for a permanent replacement as athletic director.

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