Greenville coach Greg Porter and Camden assistant coach Louis Clyburn were named by Greenwood School District 50 as finalists in its search for the next Greenwood High School football coach.
Chris Liner was announced Jan. 11 as the Eagles’ football coach with a salary of $97,918. Tad DuBose was also hired on the same day as Emerald’s new football coach with a salary of $92,473.
At Emerald, the finalists for the head coaching position were Joe Lawson and Tom Harper. Lawson has coached at Crescent and Union and Harper is the current offensive coordinator at North Iredell High School in Olin, North Carolina.
District 50 Superintendent Steve Glenn emphasized the importance of Liner’s ability to relate to the Greenwood community as he answered questions about the hiring process.
“It’s huge,” Glenn said of Liner’s familiarity with Greenwood. “When you sit down and you talk to all the coaches, there’s no doubt where his (Liner’s) passion and where his heart is at. ... He knows what it takes and the community, that’s a huge part of it, and you want that community built back. I think that’s huge, it’s extremely important. You want people to come out and watch those kids play, and to be a part of it. And I think he brings that.”
Liner, who joins the Eagles after six seasons at Laurens High, won a region championship in 2019 and finished his time at Laurens with a 34-35 record.
Liner started his career coaching at Greenwood as an assistant for Shell Dula. Liner was on the staff that won two state championships. As the quarterbacks coach, Liner coached Armanti Edwards, who went on to win two FCS national titles with Appalachian State. Edwards currently plays for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
Liner is the first Greenwood native to be named coach at Greenwood High. He is just the seventh football coach in the school’s history.
Porter has led Class 4A Greenville High for one year. Before that, he spent nine seasons at Hillcrest and won four region championships and the 2014 Class 4A state championship.
Greenville will face Greenwood in region play next season. The Eagles and the Red Raiders were shifted into Region 2-4A in the latest SCHSL realignment.
Clyburn currently coaches the offensive line at Camden, which progressed to the Class 3A Upper State championship last fall. Clyburn previous coached at Andrew Jackson and North Central.
Clyburn has previous college coaching experience as an assistant at Lenoir-Rhyne, Elon, Duke and Appalachian State.
Tom Harper, a finalist for the Emerald position, coaches the offense at North Iredell High School in Olin, North Carolina.
Harper previously coached as an assistant at Catawba College before stints at several high schools in North Carolina.
Before these hires were made, previous Greenwood and Emerald football coaches Dan Pippin and Tim McMahon shared the football coach and athletic director positions.
When Glenn started as the district’s new superintendent, he opted to split the two duties into separate positions. Sparky Hudson was hired in November as Greenwood High’s athletic director, and McMahon stepped aside as football coach and continues as Emerald’s athletic director.
Glenn said the individual positions will allow the athletic director to serve an administrative role and will help football coaches focus better on their sport.
“All of our kids deserve to have everything we possibly can give them,” Glenn said. “That’s the best way that we can make equity for all of our sports and all of our kids that are participating in athletics.
“You no longer have a football coach that’s your athletic director. You have an athletic director that’s going to give the same attention to any other sport than they do to football.”
Glenn said this change brings District 50 in line with many other high schools of Greenwood and Emerald’s size. He added that since the football coaches also fill teaching positions, the district did not have to make many changes financially or personnel-wise.