Friday didn’t only mark the dawn of a new month at Conway High School.
The first day of December also began a new era for the school’s football program, and the process of finding the next person to lead it.
Conway athletic director Marion Shaw recently announced the school will soon begin taking applications for its head football coaching position.
“The job will be opened and posted and applications taken,” Shaw said in an e-mail statement. “The school will follow (Horry County School District) protocol for filling the position.”
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A start date for the process of hiring a new football coach has yet to be established, the Conway athletic director added.
A long line of suitors are expected to throw their hat in the ring hoping to land the coaching job. However, there is one who has already expressed his want to take the program’s reins on a permanent basis.
“It’s been a goal of mine that once (longtime Conway football coach Chuck Jordan) leaves that I would apply for the job,” said Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry. “This community has always loved Conway football, especially seeing both sides of it as a player and a coach. Just being a familiar face and name, there aren’t too many places I go or people I see that don’t want to talk about the program.”
Terry took over day-to-day duties this past summer, this as questions about the future of Jordan lingered following an on-campus incident involving him and a Conway High student. Hours before the Tigers’ season opener at Georgetown, Jordan was informed by Horry County School District officials he would be kept on administrative leave with pay till the end of his contract.
I’m always looking for opportunities to grow. After this year, it became very clear to me that I want to lead a team. It may be in Conway, it may not … but either way I will pursue whatever opportunity reveals itself.
Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry
Jordan’s contract formally ended on Nov. 30. During his 34-year tenure, he led Conway to 278 wins and four trips to the state title game.
A former player and coach under Jordan, Terry did his best to make “the old ball coach” proud, leading his alma mater to a 10-2 record and the Region 6-5A title. During the 2017 football campaign, the team was ranked as high as No. 3 in the Class 5A prep media poll.
Four players were selected to take part in all-star games. Offensive linemen Raiqwon O’Neal and Gunner Britton will play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, while offensive lineman Lucas Partin and linebacker Jaylen Moody are headed to the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North-South Bowl.
For his work, Terry was named the Palmetto Champions’ Lower State 5A Coach of the Year.
Yet, for all the good things done this past season and the uncertainty that remains, his focus is on keeping the Conway footballprogram on its current course.
“I’ve already told our junior class that this is the beginning of your senior year … whether it is me as your coach or someone else,” he said.
Terry has emphasized he wants to be a head football coach — if not in Conway, then possibly elsewhere.
“I’m always looking for opportunities to grow,” he said. “After this year, it became very clear to me that I want to lead a team. It may be in Conway, it may not … but either way I will pursue whatever opportunity reveals itself.”