Two of the best high school football coaches in the Tri-County area will be inducted into the South Carolina Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December.
Jim Ringer won a pair of state titles during a roughly 20-year tenure as the Rock Hill Bearcats’ football coach. His success crossed paths with Bennie McMurray, who won three 1A state championships at Lewisville, and also coached at Charlotte’s E.E. Waddell and Lancaster.
McMurray, Ringer and six other coaches will be inducted during the ceremony on Dec. 8 in Myrtle Beach. For tickets to the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Berry - Blackville-Hilda (1988 to present) - Berry has won 257 games in his coaching career, including three state titles, six Upper or Lower State championships and 13 region championships. He’s also produced 24 consecutive winning seasons.
Jackie Hayes - Dillon (1992 to present) - Hayes has won 292 games during his tenure in Dillon. That tally includes six state championships, with four coming in a row in recent years, and 17 Lower State championship appearances. Hayes is also a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and has won eight statewide coach of the year awards.
J.W. “Whinny” Ingram - Lexington (1935 to 1970) - Ingram won 218 games during 36 seasons in Lexington, including three state titles. He coached every sport during his time at the school, and even drove the bus and performed janitorial duties. Ingram was a four-sport letterman at Newberry College and is a member of four other halls of fame.
Lewis Lineberger - Hartsville and Johnsonville (1984 to present) - Lineberger has won 250 games in his career, with two state championships and five runner-up finishes. He’s been named coach of the year by three different publications and region coach of the year eight times.
Jewell McLaurin - Lake View (1983 to 2007) - McLaurin won 259 games during his time in charge of the Wild Gators. He won four state titles and coach four teams that lost in state finals. He also won a pair of basketball state titles in the early 1980s.
Bennie McMurray - Lewisville, Waddell and Lancaster (1986 to 2013) - McMurray won 219 games and three state titles during his coaching career, and also reached the football state championship game with four other teams. He was named region coach of the year 16 times in his career and also coached Lewisville to five baseball state titles.
Jim Ringer - Columbia, Conway and Rock Hill (1975 to 2004) - Ringer won 227 games over the course of 29 years, winning two state titles at Rock Hill in his final three years of coaching. He also reached the finals with two other teams. Ringer has actively raised scholarship money for the Rock Hill community over the last 16 years, in honor of his late son, Brett.
Phil Strickland - Ridge Spring-Monetta, Brookland-Cayce, Batesburg-Leesville, Gaffney and Newberry (1987 to present) - Strickland has won at each of the five schools he’s coached, notching 309 victories to date, including five state championships. He coached five more teams to runner-up finishes. Strickland is a member of three other hall of fames and has coached five NFL players.