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Hartsville High School

Change at the top for Hartsville High this year


By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Hartsville – The spring and early summer of 2018 was one of change in the hierarchy of Hartsville High leadership.

Long-time principal Charlie Burry and long-time athletic director Phyllis Griggs announced their retirement over the winter and early spring, leaving two major holes to fill.

Griggs actually made her intentions known to step down after 13 years as athletic director last fall. Griggs, a graduate of Hartsville, spent 36 years as a coach and teacher at Hartsville.

Former softball coach Jamie Horton spent the last year as Griggs’ assistant with intentions of moving into the top spot. That was confirmed a few months ago as Horton was named the school’s athletic director by new principal Corey Lewis.

“Coach Horton has done an outstanding job as a coach and as a teacher since arriving at Hartsville High School,” said Lewis in a district release. "I am confident that she is capable of providing the level of leadership needed to maintain our school's position as one of the top athletic programs in the state.”

Horton is a former softball player at Coker, graduating in 2009. She coached the Hartsville softball team to a state championship in 2017. She was named the Hartsville High and Darlington County school district Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 school year.

Lewis was tabbed as Burry’s replacement during the spring. Burry spent 40 years at Hartsville, working as a football coach, counselor and teacher at the school. He served the last 14 years as the school’s principal.

Soon after her hire as athletic director, Horton filled an important coaching vacancy by naming Justin Johnson as the new varsity girls basketball coach. Johnson, a native of Manning with former coaching stops at Cheraw and The Governor’s School, was hired in June.

“Mr. Johnson has an extensive basketball background and has worked at several levels with both men's and women's programs,” Horton said. “We are looking forward to him coming in and making a positive impact in our girls’ basketball program.”

The remaining varsity coaching staff returns intact for the upcoming 2018-19 athletic year. Jeff Calabrese returns as the head football coach this fall. Randall Ewing will head up the cross country program while Billy Smith returns as the head volleyball coach.

Jennifer Andrews heads up the swim program and Andy Cottingham will coach the boys and girls tennis teams.

Yusef English returns as the varsity boys basketball coach and Michael Lynch is back to coach varsity wrestling.

Troy Alexander will coach the boys soccer team once again while Justin Hall directs the girls soccer program.

 David Coker is the golf coach and Tommy Garrison coaches varsity softball. Tony Gainey heads up the baseball program and Ashley Ingalls coaches the competition cheerleading team. Toyinda Smith heads up the track and field program, assisted by Ewing and Jake Johnson.



© 2017 High School Sports Report

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