Former Coastal Carolina football coach and current Socastee High School athletic director David Bennett is being considered for a job at a new high school in Lexington set to open in 2013.
Speaking by phone Monday night, Bennett confirmed that he has interviewed for the positions of athletic director and head football coach at River Bluff High School, but he reiterated that he has no idea whether that means he will receive an offer or not.
“I’ve talked to them,” he said. “It’s a brand new high school. I’ve talked to them and sat in there for an hour-and-a-half interview on Friday. They asked a bunch of questions, so I’ve talked to them, but they haven’t offered that job to us. We’ll just wait and see.”
A call to River Bluff principal Luke Clamp earlier in the day produced a response from Mary Beth Hill, the chief communications officer for Lexington County School District One, who said she could not confirm Bennett as a candidate because the school had not officially named any finalists for the position. However, she expected a formal decision and announcement to likely come later this week.
“What I’ve learned through this whole deal here, it ain’t about me – it’s about trying to help kids and be a part of their lives and help them at the end of the day to become better people and better husbands and wives and mothers and fathers,” Bennett said. “I think that’s what we’re supposed to do. So we’ll see what happens down the road. … There are people involved that have been coaching on that level for a long time. They might not offer that job to us.”
Bennett was the first head football coach at Coastal Carolina, launching the program from scratch and leading the Chanticleers to early heights with three Big South Conference championships and a NCAA FCS playoff berth in their first four seasons. He was dismissed of his duties last December after compiling a 63-39 record over nine seasons while winning at least a share of four Big South titles and making two playoff appearances.
He had come to Coastal after a successful run at Division II Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., and is now in his first year as the athletic director at Socastee after being hired there in July.
“Somebody mentioned something to me a while back in January or February [about River Bluff],” Bennett said. “The intriguing thing is you’re talking about building [a program] from scratch where you hire coaches and staff members, so I just think it’s a pretty neat situation. It’s not every day you get to go to a program and hire the people you want to be around and you know and trust and enjoy working with.”
Asked if his candidacy for this job reflected his desire to get back into coaching one way or another, Bennett just said he’d see what happens and reiterated that he doesn’t know where he stands in consideration for the River Bluff job.
“We love it here, love the people here and [Socastee principal Paul] Browning, whose been a phenomenal mentor,” Bennett said. “I think you can learn something every day. When you stop learning, you’re in trouble. Being around the faculty here is just unbelievable. … We’ll see how that deal unfolds. The bottom line, I’ve had a couple people reach out to me today [and] I said, ‘I don’t know more than anybody [else].’ I think they’re staying pretty close to the vest about it.”
Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318 or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/RyanYoungTSN.