Time for the Blue Eagles to spread their wings.
The Clover school board approved the hiring of spread offense guru Brian Lane as the Blue Eagles’ new football coach on Friday.
“I can’t wait to become a part of the Clover community,” Lane said in a release from the school district. “This is such a special place. I look forward to the work ahead of us and I’m very blessed and honored to have this opportunity to lead the Clover football program.”
His experience and success at the highest level of high school football in South Carolina, along with his efforts to foster the development of quality young people, is what separated him from our list of outstanding candidates.
Clover athletic director Bailey Jackson
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Clover was replacing Chad Smith, who resigned in December to take the head job at his alma mater, Pickens. Smith gradually dragged the Blue Eagles out of the depths he inherited in 2013, a year after a hazing controversy markedly decreased player participation in the program. Clover was 11-33 during Smith’s tenure, but won six games in 2016 and made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
Lane, who resigned as the head coach at Byrnes in November, was picked from a pool of applicants that included 60 candidates from 12 states. He comes to Clover with a strong pedigree.
He won 24 games his first two years at Byrnes, reaching two Upper State championship games, before a three-win season last fall. Prior to that, Lane was a considerable success as head coach at Woodruff, leading the Wolverines to three Upper State championship games and the 2011 2A state final. He won 56 games in six seasons at Woodruff before taking the Byrnes gig.
Brian Lane and his wife, Kenya, are both natives of South Carolina, they have two boys – B.J.,19, and Jaylin, 14.
“Coach Lane was the overwhelming choice of our committee,” said Clover athletic director Bailey Jackson. “He is a man of strong character, has demonstrated success on the field, and is the absolute best person to lead the Clover High School football program.”
Lane’s teams at Woodruff and Byrnes threw the ball liberally. One of his first big challenges will be redesigning a Clover offense that has used some form of the double-wing or wing-t run-focused offense since 1993.
“On offense we will be a spread-oriented team with three, four and sometimes five wide receivers,” Lane said. “I want my offense to play smart and be physical at the point of attack.”