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Erskine’s Shap Boyd To Keynote HSSR Fall All-State Football Awards banquet

Erskine’s Shap Boyd To Keynote HSSR Fall All-State Football Awards Banquet 

(This story will run relative to Sunday Feb., 10 in our banquet issue to be distributed at Seawells)   


On National Football Signing Day on February 6, despite not starting a Division II program playing competitively until August 2020, Erskine College received letters of financial commitment from 50 to 55 players, mainly from the state of South Carolina.

“I got hired the first of November and I hired two assistant coaches in early December, so you might say we have accomplished a lot in a short time,” said Erskine head football coach Shap Boyd who will keynote the 33rd annual HSSR fall all-state football awards banquet in the grand ball room at Seawells today. “We have had over 400 unofficial campus visits from potential players and their families over four Friday open house events. We had our final Friday open house event on Friday February 8.”

Boyd said while he and his staff have coaching experience in the state of Florida he expects that 80 per cent of his 2020 team of 80 to 100 players, will be from the state of South Carolina.  “We have had a great response as we have travelled around the state visiting high school football coaches,” he said. “We expect to focus a lot of our recruiting efforts within the state of South Carolina where we have great high school football traditions everywhere.”

Boyd said he hopes Erskine can build a stadium within two or three years, but right now they will be playing home games at Dixie High School located literally 400 yards away from the cafeteria at the college. “We will help them with improvements to their press box to get it more college ready,” said Coach Boyd. “Right now, facilities wise, Coach Boyd is focused on getting the practice field and field house ready as football practices will begin this summer when many of the players enroll a year early to help get the program ready.”

Coach Boyd said the soccer field has lights and might be a possibility for expansion to serve as the team’s home stadium in a few years. “Having our own stadium is a priority for the program and we feel good about getting that done in the next two or three years,” said Coach Boyd.

Coach Boyd said he will tell the football players and their parents today at Seawells that as someone who helped two colleges start up programs at Jacksonville University and Southeastern College located in Lakeland, Florida that the memory of seeing your name on the wall of the first ever team is a memory you can only get when a program is starting up brand new. “You can be a part of the 50th or the 100th signing class somewhere else but where can you go and say that you were a part of the first signing class since 1951 at Erskine College,” said Coach Boyd. “You can go somewhere else and wait two or three years to actually play in a game or you can come to Erskine College and contribute right away.”

Coach Boyd said the Flying Fleet are looking for talented high character kids. “First of all, we are seeking players who want to strive in a Christian environment first and foremost and we are also seeking players with strong character and a will to be the best which takes a strong work ethic,” said Coach Boyd. “We are hoping that being a part of something brand new will be appealing to a lot of players.”

Coach Boyd said he decided to come to Erskine from a small college in Virginia because of the relationship he established with Erskine athletic director Mark Peeler during the interview process. “I decided to take on the challenge of starting a new program because of the passion and commitment I felt from Mr. Peeler about the goals of the program,” said Coach Boyd. “You have to trust your boss and I have complete trust in Mark Peeler. He’s the best boss I’ve had.”

Boyd is assisted by offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Gage Hayes along with Jordan Odaffer who will serve as the team’s strength coach and coach the defensive line.  Coach Boyd will be bringing on two more coaches by mid-summer to complete the staff of five.

Coach Boyd is married to the former Beth Garcia of Tampa, Florida and the couple have three children Elle (26), Ashleigh (24), and Quint (20). Quint plays football at James Madison College in Virginia.

Erskine Athletic director Mark Peeler commented on the hiring of Coach Boyd with these words: “This process started with us searching for the best Christian leader we could find to develop student athletes and a new football program from the ground up. We are confident Shap is the man for the job. He brings a wealth of experience, an abundance of energy, and a strong will to succeed. We are blessed to find such a good fit for Erskine.”

Coach Boyd has served as the Defensive Coordinator and Safeties coach at the University of Virginia at Wise for the past three seasons. Prior to his arrival, the Cavalier defense ranked 161st (out of 167) in scoring defense, 145th in total defense and 166th in passing defense. In his first season at Wise. The Cavaliers finished with the program’s first winning season since 2008 and their six wins were more than the three previous seasons combined.

Coach Boyd is a 1985 graduate of the University of the South, where he was a member of the football team, and he earned his master’s degree in 1987 from Middle Tennessee State University.










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