York Prep Academy athletic director Mike Drummond confirmed Monday morning that the school is looking for a new boys' basketball coach after Frank Hamrick "was not retained."
The news first surfaced in a Tweet from Columbia basketball insider and former South Carolina Gamecock hooper Carey Rich over the weekend. Asked to explain any reasoning behind the decision, Drummond said, "Nope, I can't."
Hamrick said in a text that "I'm grateful for the time I had at York Prep and will always be a fan of the school and wish them and their new coach nothing but continued success."
There was obvious tension between York Prep's new athletic direction -- the school is trying to join the South Carolina High School League -- and Hamrick's more free-wheeling basketball program. He had molded the program into a budding national power, its roster full of Division I basketball recruits from all over South Carolina.
Virginia's Tony Bennett, Tennessee's Rick Barnes and South Carolina's Frank Martin were just a few of the Division I basketball coaches that had visited York Prep to recruit Patriot players.
Hamrick's amassing of Palmetto State talent chagrined many public high school coaches, who were concerned that Hamrick would pilfer their players. But Hamrick countered that the players flocking to his school sought him out. Plus, York Prep didn't belong to a governing body so it wasn't breaking any rules.
If York Prep joins the SCHSL, some of its current basketball players would likely be ineligible, based on SCHSL rules requiring student-athletes to live in their school zone. Student-athletes that transfer within SCHSL for sports purposes are required to sit out from sports for a school year.
Besides Hamrick, two other coaches -- Hamrick's assistant and the JV head coach -- were also let go, according to Drummond. He said the job openings will be posted on York Prep's web site next week, after school staff returns from spring break.