JIMMY HUGHES
JIMMY HUGHES

Business is about to pick up for a pair of Lakelands high schools in search of a new football coach.
Saluda and McCormick are currently both without permanent coaches, and with the new semester comes a new push for each of those schools to have someone in place before the spring kicks into gear.
In Saluda, the search is on to replace Doug Painter, the former head coach and athletic director who departed during the Christmas holiday to become the athletic director at Strom Thurmond.
Interim athletic director Jeanette Wilder said the school received roughly 70 to 80 applications before the cutoff at the end of December. With so many applicants to choose from, Wilder said the school is moving along in the hiring process, with the hopes of having someone in place within weeks.


"Having just closed applications, we're in the screening process right now," Wilder said. "Hopefully, by the end of next week, we can maybe start interviews. We'd like to have someone hired hopefully by the end of the month."
While Saluda prepares to make its next move, McCormick is still days away from deciding what will be its first.
Chiefs athletic director Jimmy Hughes said Thursday he and principal Mark Dean have yet to meet to determine how the program will move forward after last year's 5-7 season under interim coach Bryan Buffkin, but plan to do so in the next couple of weeks.
"I don't have any details or anything good to tell you, because I have to sit down with (Dean) and me and him will have to talk about some things in that meeting first," Hughes said. "After we make a decision on what we're going to do, we'll get the word out. Within the next week or two, we're going to sit down and discuss it and see where we're going with that."

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