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Stratford High School
Goose Creek

McDaniel set for first season as head of Stratford football

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Goose Creek - Dennie McDaniel wore the Stratford High football uniform as a player. He also served two different stints as an assistant coach for his alma mater.

Now, the 40-year old McDaniel will lead the program as its head coach.

McDaniel was named the fourth head coach in school history earlier this spring, completing the full circle in football and achieving his ultimate goal.

“It’s a dream come true,” McDaniel said. “I have waited for this opportunity since I got into coaching. I will work as hard as I can to help bring this program back to the level it was when I was a player. I am a product of this system and I have learned over the years what it takes to have a successful program. I am ready to get started.”

McDaniel replaces Joe Marion, another former Stratford assistant, who stepped down after the 2017 season. The Knights managed just 16 wins in Marion’s four seasons as the replacement to Hall of Fame coach Ray Stackley.

McDaniel graduated from Stratford in 1995 and continued his playing career at Charleston Southern before getting into the coaching business. He worked at Wando High for head coach Bob Hayes for seven seasons before returning to Stratford as the offensive coordinator in 2007.

McDaniel’s only experience as a head coach came at St. John’s High for two years (2015-16). McDaniel guided the Islanders to a 7-4 record in 2016 and a 12-10 record in two seasons.

McDaniel is tasked with turning around a program that has three wins in the last two seasons.

“We have to go back to our roots and we have to raise our level of expectations for our players and coaches,” the coach said. “It will be important to develop our junior varsity and b-team programs and to show our players that we are here as their coaches, but also as mentors. We want to develop great young men, on and off the field.”

McDaniel retained several members of the previous coaching staff. Mathis Burnette, a former head coach at Woodland, remains as the offensive line coach. Brandon Beckman will coach inside receivers and Jayson Leverette will work with outside receivers. Beckman also coordinates special teams.

Brooks Burnette is the offensive coordinator and works with quarterbacks while Ricky Reyes is the running backs coach.

On defense, Chris Collins is the coordinator and inside linebackers coach while Jelani Ellington works with the outside linebackers. Joey Manchester will coach the defensive linemen and Justin Mood works with the secondary.

 Long-time assistant David Mills will again work with the kickers.

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