Wofford to take over Clover High baseball program

From staff reportsMay 9, 2014 

— Former Blue Eagles and Lenoir-Rhyne University star Hank Wofford has been named the Clover High School baseball coach.

Darrell van Dyke, who has led the program for the past eight seasons, is steping down with a 91-108 record.

“I want to thank Ccach Van Dyke for his commitment and loyalty to our baseball program over the last eight years. His coaching career speaks for itself, and we are grateful to him for his efforts,” said Mark Hopkins, Clover High principal. “I am excited that he will continue teaching math for us, as he is an exceptional teacher as well. The foundation for success is here, and we believe that Coach Wofford will build upon that foundation.”

Wofford began coaching in 2009 with the Upstate Mavericks. He has been a head coach of 16-under and 17-under teams since 2010. With Clover, he served as assistant J.V. and varsity coach from 2011-2013 before being named the head J.V. coach this past season. He also coaches the Junior American Legion Post 38 team in Clover.

“I am excited for Coach Wofford and see much potential in him and the future of Clover Baseball,” said athletic director Carroll Hester. “He was a super student and athlete here at Clover HS; he was a very hard worker when he played and I know that he will bring that same work ethic to his role as the head baseball coach at Clover.”

Wofford, a Clover native, played for Clover from 2003-2006, before earning a scholarship to NCAA Division II Lenoir-Rhyne where he graduated with a degree in physical education in 2011. For the Bears, he appeared in 200 games and finished his career with a .336 batting average and 97 RBI. He won a multiple Gold Glove awards at the region and conference levels for his defense at second base. In 2009, he was named to the All-South Atlantic Conference first team.

He holds LRU records for most at-bats in a season (222) and career (819), doubles in one game (three, vs. Charleston on Feb. 15, 2009), games played in a season (55) and career (210), and games started in a season (55) and career (210). Wofford led the Bears in runs (51) in 2010 and stolen bases in 2007 and 2008 (13 and 24, respectively).

At Clover, Wofford earned all region and all county honors three times. Following his senior season, he played in the North-South game and was named the Clover High School Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

Wofford replaces Van Dyke, whom he has coached alongside for the past three years.

Van Dyke’s playing and coaching career culminated with his induction into the North Carolina Legion Hall of Fame in March. A multi-sport athlete at Kings Mountain High in the early 1970s, Van Dyke played at Gardner-Webb in the late 1970s before embarking on a coaching career at East Gaston High School in 1978.

At East Gaston, where the field bears his name, he guided the Warriors to a 362-281-2 record, 13 playoff berths and nine conference championships from 1980 to 2006. While Van Dyke was at East Gaston, he began coaching Legion baseball, first at Stanley where he led Post 266 to a 128-113 record and later for the Braves (46-42) and currently at Clover, where he has guided Junior and Senior Legion teams to a combined 59-93 record.

In eight seasons with the Blue Eagles, he compiled a 91-108 record, four playoff berths, and one trip to the district finals in 2009. There are 15 former Clover players who either played or are playing college baseball who were coached by Van Dyke.

Hester adds, “Coach Van Dyke has done an outstanding job in leading our baseball program over the past 8 years and I much appreciate what he has done and the example that he has been for our athletes on and off of the field.”

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