A former Conway football coach has earned his place among elite company.
Jim Ringer, who served as the Tigers head man from 1976-82, was announced as a recipient for induction as part of the S.C. Football Coaches Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
In 29 years as a football coach, Ringer’s teams won 227 games — 38 of which came at Conway. He is best known for his work at Rock Hill High, where the Bearcats won a pair of state titles and finished second on two other occasions.
Joining Ringer in this year’s class is a group of decorated coaches in their own right.
▪ David Berry, Blackville-Hilda: A winner of 275 games and three state titles, the Fighting Hawks have went 24 years without a losing season. Under his tutelage, Blackville-Hilda has also earned 13 region championships and on six occasions has played for all the marbles.
▪ Jackie Hayes, Dillon: Nearing the 300-win mark for his career, he has led the Wildcats to six state championships. On eight occasions, he has been named state Coach of the Year.
▪ J.W. “Whinny” Ingram, Lexington: Though offered the opportunity to coach every sport at Lexington High, his biggest impact came on the gridiron where his teams won 218 games and three state titles. He is also a member of four other state athletic halls of fame.
▪ Lewis Lineberger, coached at Hartsville, Johnsonville: Still roaming the sidelines at Johnsonville, Lineberger has led his teams to a pair of state championships, along with five other trips to the final round. In more than three decades as a coach, he has 250 wins.
▪ Jewell McLaurin, Lake View: For 25 years, served as coach at Lake View. During that time, his teams won four state titles and were runner-up on four other occasions. He also led Lake View to a state basketball championship in 1982.
▪ Bennie McMurray, coached at Lewisville, Waddell (N.C.) and Lancaster: Led three of his teams to state titles, to go along with four more finishes as runner-up. In addition to leading his squads to 219 wins, he also was a decorated baseball coach, winning five more rings.
▪ Jim Ringer, coached at Conway and Rock Hill: In 29 years at the helm, Ringer’s teams won 227 games —including a stretch of claiming 39 out of his last 42 games as coach. He won a pair of state titles at Rock Hill (2002, 2004).
▪ Phil Strickland, coached at Ridge Spring Monetta, Brookland-Cayce, Batesburg-Leesville, Gaffney and Newberry: A winner of 309 games, Strickland guided five of his squads to state titles in a 12-year span (two at Batesburg-Leesville (1995, 1999); three at Gaffney (2003 and 2005-06). He’s also been inducted into three other athletic halls of fame, and coached five players who have went on to the NFL.