Under most circumstances, taking a phone call during an athletic contest would be a no-no for Shane Fidler.
Tuesday wasn’t your normal state of affairs for the Colleton County soccer coach, however, awaiting a phone call that would bring the end to one pursuit — and the start of a whole new one.
After being approved by Georgetown County school trustees, Fidler was officially named the new head football coach at Waccamaw High School. His first head coaching gig, he replaces Tyronne Davis who vacated the role for family reasons.
Ironically, the new Waccamaw head man was on the pitch when he received word of his new role, guiding the Cougars’ boys soccer team through a preseason scrimmage.
“We had just kicked off, but I had told my assistants that if a certain call came, that I’d have to go,” Fidler said. “I sprinted to the corner and that’s when (Waccamaw principal Dr. David Hammel) told me I was hired as the new Waccamaw football coach.
“… I saw the opportunity posted online, and it’s been a dream of mine to become a head coach. I put my name in there, and worked through the interview process. I firmly believe God led me (to Waccamaw) for a reason.”
Though certainly with expertise on the pitch, the new Warriors head man admits the gridiron is his first love. Over the course of the past several seasons, he served as Colleton County’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Hopefully I can take some ideals and core values from the rebuild at Colleton County to help us at Waccamaw. I expect us to live and die in the weight room, and pay attentions to all the finer details. This is going to be a long process, but each day we’re going to make steps, leaps and bounds. We’re going to raise our expectations.
Shane Fidler, new Waccamaw football coach
During his tenure in Walterboro, the Cougars set several school records on the offensive side of the football. Don’t necessarily expect that philosophy to be the one planned for Waccamaw, however.
“We’re going to run what best suits our kids,” Fidler said. “We will be able to determine that by looking at film as well as getting to know what the kids do well.”
In regard to building a coaching staff, the new Warrior football coach already has a head start, as a number of assistants from the previous coaching regime will stick around for the new one.
“I’m fortunate to be stepping in with such an experienced staff,” he said. “Their experience in-game will help as a coach.”
While some shy away from the prospect of playing tough Region VI-3A opponents — the like of perennial powerhouse Dillon as well as Georgetown, Lake City and Loris — Fidler said he embraces the opportunity to take on the best.
“When I was at Colleton County, we started with little to speak of in terms of a foundation. It was a huge rebuild,” he said. “But eventually we made the playoffs, and had opportunities to compete against some of the state’s top teams and top players.
“Before realignment, we had Fort Dorchester, Goose Creek, Summerville and others in our region. Last year, it was Berkeley, Hilton Head Island and Cane Bay. So that is nothing new to me.”
An emphasis will be placed on the weight room, though, wanting to enrich players’ bodies for the grind ahead. Fidler also plans to bring in renewed optimism that he hopes will permeate the program.
“Hopefully I can take some ideals and core values from the rebuild at Colleton County to help us at Waccamaw,” he said. “I expect us to live and die in the weight room, and pay attentions to all the finer details. This is going to be a long process, but each day we’re going to make steps, leaps and bounds. We’re going to raise our expectations.”
Fidler is committed to several roles at Colleton County through the end of the year. Despite that, the new Waccamaw head man said he will make regular trips to Pawleys Island to regularly engage with the football team, along with prepare for the coming move.
“(Colleton County principal Dr. Melissa Crosby) has been so good to me, so I’m going to fulfill the commitments I have there before coming to Waccamaw full-time,” he said. “But I will make regular trips to Pawleys Island. Me and my fiancee will be married in April, and that is where want to be. I wish I was closer to grind it out in the weight room, but I will be around.”