Indian Land High baseball coach Kevin Durham is leaving the Panhandle after taking a position at Pendleton High School.
Durham, who has been head varsity baseball coach at the school since 2005 and has posted a 49-51 record in his four season, will be returning to his alma mater of Pendleton, where he graduated in 1994. He will serve as an assistant baseball coach under his former coach David Skelly.
"It was a really difficult decision," Durham said. "The parents and administration have been very supportive here (at Indian Land). The kids have worked really hard and I told them it's not about going to a bigger school or a talent thing. It's about family. It's about home for me and family. It's where I grew up."
Durham heard about the job when Skelly called him to see if he would be interested. He will also serve as an assistant JV football coach at Pendleton and teach driver's education.
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He said that his time at Pendleton was good and he wanted to be able to give back to his hometown.
"I had success when I was there, and to be able to coach kids and have them look at you like you are one of their own, that you went here too, means a lot," he said.
Durham, 32, was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1994, but chose to go to The Citadel, where he graduated in 1998.
While at The Citadel, he was selected as part of the All-Southern Conference team his senior season, as his team went on to win the tournament title.
Durham came to Indian Land in 2001 and served as an assistant football coach and baseball coach. He took over the head varsity baseball job in 2005 after former coach Rick Furr moved into an administrative job at the school.
During his first two years as head coach, his teams made it to the Upper State finals. He was named Region III-A Coach of the Year in 2005. His teams won District Championships in three of his four years and were Region champs in 2005.
Durham said he hopes the school will look after the program. He said he is unsure of a timeframe for finding his successor.
"The program wasn't built by me," he said. "It was Coach Furr's program. I just helped move it along."