Search under way for Clover football coach

genegraham@comporium.netNovember 12, 2012 

— The search to find a new head coach to succeed John Devine is set to begin, said athletic director Carroll Hester.

“We will search for the best coach we can find to lead the Blue Eagle program,” Hester said.

Former York Comprehensive High School head coach John Barrett, who had served as an assistant at Clover for the past two seasons, was named interim head coach when Devine announced his decision to resign after the fourth game of the season.

Competing in the strongest football region in the Palmetto State, the Blue Eagle program was left in disarray following an alleged hazing incident last season.

Ten varsity players were expelled and two left midway through the season. A sheriff’s department investigation found no evidence of a crime and no charges were filed.

With dwindling numbers and no ninth-grade team, the Blue Eagles were unable to dot the win column this season.

There were signs of progress, however, including the first game following the abrupt coaching change.

A return to the personnel-friendly wing-T offense produced 246 rushing yards at Nation Ford.

There was a near-miss at Lancaster, where the Blue Eagles built a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, but a lack of varsity experience and depth took a toll.

In assessing a season of setbacks, Hester praised Barrett and the assistant coaches for intense efforts to upgrade the program.

“It was a difficult situation,” Hester said. “Progress was made the remainder of the season. There were positive signs.”

Hester lauded the players.

“It would have been easy to give up,” he said. “The players showed a lot of character and a remarkable commitment to the program.”

Devine, who had led the CHS football program since July 2011, said of his decision to resign, “This is not the course of action we envisioned a year ago nor were the results what we all had hoped for those months ago.”

Said school principal Mark Hopkins the day Devine resigned, “His resume speaks for itself; unfortunately, things did not turn out as we all envisioned, and we respect his decision.”

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