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Former CCU football coach takes reins at Socastee

  • Wednesday, August 1, 2012



By Chris Sokoloski

csokoloski@gtowntimes.com



Former Coastal Carolina University football coach David Bennett, who was recently named Socastee High School's new athletic director, said he committed to the Braves.

"It's one day at a time, but we love it here in this community," Bennett said. "Our roots are dug deep in this community here. We're excited about this opportunity."

Bennett, 50, was hired as Coastal's first football coach in 2001 and relieved of his duties last season.

"Everybody is going to go through tough times," Bennett said. "But when you get knocked down to your knees you can't stay there, you've got the get up."

One of the attractions of the Socastee job was the chance to remain in the area.

"Before I'm a football coach I want to be a husband, I want to be a good dad. So that's why we're here at Socastee High," he said. "I know there are going to be a lot of hours here, but I know I'm going to be putting my head on my pillow at home every night right here in Horry County."

Bennett will have to be a quick study in high school athletics as the Braves football team opens the season on Aug. 17.

"There is a pretty steep learning curve booted into the high school athletic directorship. It's probably the hardest job going, 60, 70 hours a week," said Dr. Paul Browning, Socastee's principal. "What he knows about being athletic director will fit in a very small hat right now. But he will know a lot about it soon."

Bennett will have a standard "induction" contract for a first-year teacher in Horry County, and will sign one-year contracts after each year like everybody else. He has jumped right into his new responsibilities, already interviewing candidates to lead the girls tennis and junior varsity cheerleading squads.

Although he is best known locally as a football coach, Bennett has also coached golf, softball and baseball.

He believes at any level, it's not all about winning.

"It's about leading these young folks and helping them become better for the rest of their life," he said.

However, win or lose, football remains king.

"Football starts your school year," Bennett said. "It don't matter if you like it or you don't. Football starts the school spirit. The better that your football team does, the more people that come and support them, the more school spirit you will have that just feeds everybody else."

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