For the second time in three seasons, Fort Mill High School will have a new girls basketball coach.
Christine Benyak, who served for the past two seasons as the assistant varsity coach, accepted an offer from Athletic Director Bailey Jackson to assume head coaching duties last week, one month after the resignation of former Head Coach Todd Bowser."Christine was the best fit for Fort Mill High School, no doubt about it," Jackson said."We felt like we needed someone who already knew the situation here. The girls all love being around her ... She's excited about it and I think she'll do a fine job."Bowser left the program for personal reasons, according to Jackson, primarily to spend more time with his two sons, twins who are just under 2 years old."I really appreciate all the work that coach Bowser did while he was here," Jackson said. "The majority of the team is coming back, so we should be in good shape."Bowser's teams went 5-41 during his two seasons, although the program lost some key payers after Fort Mill's student body was split to form Nation Ford High School two seasons ago.There were only eight girls on the Jackets' team last year, but seven of the eight are returning next fall, and Benyak is enthusiastic about finding new talent in the school."I know these girls really well, and we are going to change some things," Benyak said. "We're going to try and create a new atmosphere around girls basketball- a new enthusiasm and a positive attitude."This will be Benyak's first head coaching experience.She graduated from Mount Union College in northeastern Ohio, where she played basketball for four years.She has been working at Fort Mill as a physical education teacher and the assistant coach on the basketball team for two years, and was a JV basketball coach for one season prior to that in Ohio."This will obviously be a different role for me. I was in the right place at the right time and I'm definitely excited about it," Benyak said.She's not wasting any time jumping right in.Benyak is already beginning to organize a summer basketball camp for elementary and middle school players, to be held at Fort Mill sometime in July, she said.Details will be available when the plans are finalized, but she said it will be an opportunity for young basketball players to learn from the high school varsity team, who would help teach and coach at the camp.