High School Sports

One area high school names new boys basketball coach, another in early stages of search

Celebrating the Lowcountry’s state champs for 2018-19

Seven high school sports teams from Beaufort and Hilton Head won state championship for the 2018-19 school year. Check them out.
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Seven high school sports teams from Beaufort and Hilton Head won state championship for the 2018-19 school year. Check them out.

St. James High School didn’t have to look far to find its next boys basketball coach.

Chris Tibbits, a history teacher at the school who has a long, successful basketball coaching resume in Pennsylvania, was approved as the Sharks’ new coach Monday morning by Horry County Schools. While coaches are typically approved at school board meetings, St. James Athletic Director Billy Hurston said the fact that Tibbits was already part of the school staff expedited the process.

The school interviewed five candidates, and in the end the best of them was already at the school, Hurston said.

“His interview was excellent, I mean really good. During the interview there was a lot of technical basketball questions, which he answered very well. We even had a dry-erase board in there where they were drawing up plays and situations,” Hurston said. “You know what? You could just tell. When you’re that experienced and that successful it kind of just came through in the interview. So I think we got exactly what we wanted.”

Tibbits replaces Jeremy Heinold, who became the Sharks’ head coach in an interim role in 2016 when Sylvester “Monty” Carr resigned and later took over full time. After three years, however, athletic director Billy Hurston said the administration decided it would be “moving in a different direction.”

Tibbits posted over 200 wins in more than a decade as a basketball coach in Pennsylvania, which, along with a track record as a “workoholic,” made him the right man for the job, Hurston said.

“It’s tough to win over 200 games in high school. I don’t care what you’re coaching,” Hurston said. “That’s a lot of wins in 12 years if you go count it all up.”

Tibbits moved down here two years ago and taught one year at St. James Middle School before moving up to the St. James High for the 2018-19 school year. In both years he’s helped coach B team basketball at the middle school and, after one year of serving as an assistant for the B team football squad, he coached as an assistant for the Sharks varsity football team this past fall.

While hopeful his resume would help him earn the boys varsity basketball job when it opened up, Tibbits said he was pleased when he learned he’s gotten a job he never envisioned he’d claim when he moved here from Pennsylvania. Yet, in some ways, it seemed a perfect fit, he said.

“I’m not going to be going into a completely new situation where I’ll have to learn all my players,” he said. “So I kind of understand some of their backgrounds to an extent but I certainly want to get them better. So I was really excited and I’m looking forward to it.”

Hurston said Tibbits’ winning track record made him the right man for the job, which has become even more demanding since St. James’ move up to Class 5A. Tibbits spoke with the players Monday and said he believes the talent is in place for the Sharks to be successful — if they’re willing to put in the work.

“There’s no magic till. You’ve just got to work hard,” he said he told the team. “We’ve got to change some of our ideas about work ethic. You can have phenomenal coaches come in with great knowledge, but there’s not going to be any success unless they buy into the program.

“If they do that and we learn how to do little things well and work really hard I think we can start to turn a corner and maybe win a few more games and compete for region titles.”

Carr, St. James’ inaugural coach, stepped down to accept an assistant principal position at Forestbrook Middle School in the summer of 2016. He’s been by far the Sharks’ most successful head coach, winning more than 150 games in 13 seasons.

Now, Hurston and Co. are hoping Tibbits is the man who can lead St. James back to prosperity.

“I’m intense and I believe in preparation,” Tibbits said. “I’m going to be prepared and I’m going to have them prepared. As far as intensity goes, I believe in work ethic. I work very hard at everything I do and that’s what I expect out of my players. I’m a demanding coach and an intense coach but I care about my players, so I’ll work hard for them and do anything I can for them.”

NMB search is on

North Myrtle Beach High has begun the process of finding a new boys basketball coach after Darcie Vincent resigned last week to take a job at the college level with Western Carolina.

Vincent’s hiring as associate head coach for the Catamounts was announced by the university Monday. She spent one season coaching the Chiefs after taking over for Alvin Green.

Now, North Myrtle Beach is again looking for someone to lead the program. Athletic Director Joe Quigley said the window to apply for the job closes Tuesday and the school likely will begin interviews at the beginning of next week. As for what the school is looking for in its next coach, Quigley quickly ran down a list of qualities he’d like to see.

“Knows the game, fundamentals, has had some experience, good with young boys, [can] make them into young men, holding kids accountable, knowing the game and [someone] who’s into the fundamentals of the game too, teaching our kids the right way to play,” Quigley said.

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