It’s not certain that Clover’s next head football coach will be a wing-t man. Athletic director Bailey Jackson said Monday only that “we’re gonna hire the absolute best fit for Clover High School and the Clover school district.”
The job - recently vacated by Chad Smith, who resigned to take the same position at his alma mater, Pickens - will be posted until Dec. 23. A committee will then narrow down the list of applicants to eight to 10 candidates to interview, and Jackson confirmed that the school wasn’t looking for coaches that run any particular offense. The Blue Eagles have used the run-focused wing-t offense in some form since the early 1990s.
Principal Rod Ruth and Jackson are gathering stakeholder feedback through an open online survey - http://www.clover.k12.sc.us/domain/132 - on the Clover High School athletics web site.
“We believe that our students and the community deserve the very best in all areas,” Ruth said in a statement from the school. “That is why it is our pledge to extend our commitment to excellence in Clover to the process of hiring our next head football coach.”
Jackson said Smith’s decision to leave surprised him but he understood the move as a family-first decision.
The next Clover coach will certainly inherit a much healthier football program than Smith did. The Blue Eagles won six games this year and made the playoffs for the first time since 2010, and the number of players involved in all levels of the program is much higher than it was in 2013. Clover won seven games total in the five seasons from 2011 to 2015.
“We certainly are appreciative of the job coach Smith did and his staff,” said Jackson, “and we are looking forward to getting a new coach in here and continuing to move forward and improve, as we have done the past few years.”