Four high schools in the Charleston area are still without head football coaches, but that could be changing over the next few weeks.
West Ashley, James Island, Ashley Ridge and Hanahan are in varying stages of the coach search process.
Hanahan has begun interviewing, and among the top six candidates are current Berkeley assistant Gary Christensen and longtime Lowcountry assistant Steve Blanchard, who was an assistant coach at Hanahan the last few years. Blanchard has previously been a head coach at Andrews.
Christensen is a Hanahan High graduate and also was a former assistant at the school before moving to Cane Bay and now Berkeley.
West Ashley played the 2019 season under interim coach William Wineberg, the former defensive coordinator. The position was opened for applications after the season and Wineberg is expected to be a strong candidate for the permanent position.
James Island’s process also has reached the initial round of interviews. The opening attracted considerable interest and is expected to be completed sometime in February. Ike Allred stepped down as head coach after six seasons.
James Island has competed at the Class AAAAA level for the last four years. One of the state’s smallest Class AAAAA programs, James Island is being dropped down to Class AAAA under the proposed realignment by the S.C. High School League.
Ashley Ridge was the last school to have an opening when Kenny Walker stepped down in December. The application process is ongoing and a few of the current assistant coaches likely will apply and be considered.
However, former West Ashley head coach Bobby Marion, who spent the 2019 season as offensive coordinator at Ashley Ridge, has indicated he will not apply for the head coaching position. Marion is believed to have applied at James Island.
Walker, who served as head coach for 10 seasons, says he has yet to determine his coaching future and will evaluate his desire to coach and in what capacity during the spring.
Two prominent head coaching positions in the Upper State were recently filled. Greenwood High announced the hiring of former Laurens head coach Chris Liner, while Emerald has hired former Abbeville defensive coordinator Tad Dubose.
Attention basketball coaches
The Post and Courier will publish local high school basketball statistics on Friday. Boys and girls coaches or statisticians are asked to email the updated stats to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday at 6 p.m.