Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

North Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball coach.

And for reasons both in and out of the high school’s control, the process is getting to be fairly routine. Athletics Director Joe Quigley is in the earliest stages of filling the role for the fifth time since the end of the spring of 2011.

“Any time you’re hiring, you’re taking a chance,” Quigley said Thursday. “Something comes up and they have another opportunity. I want somebody who has been a varsity coach and has success developing programs already. … At the same time, ‘What’s your goal?’ I want somebody who is going to be here long-term. But I’ve heard that the last few [hires].”

The latest search was initiated when Darcie Vincent resigned last week after one season to join the staff at Western Carolina University. The high school couldn’t compete with the pay scale, or the fact that she can now shed her teaching responsibilities and focus solely on basketball.

North Myrtle Beach has posted the opening through Horry County Schools’ employment portal. And while some of the recent basketball openings in the district have been listed in a way to cast a wider net, this one is different.

St. James — which is expected to have a new coach as early as next week — and Carolina Forest (which hired Hemingway’s Emmanuel Dewalt) essentially posted the job twice. One opened it up to new hires, and another to current HCS employees via a coaching supplement that allowed them to keep his or her current full-time position. For now, at least, the North Myrtle Beach job is listed only along with an in-house teaching job tied to any certification.

“Our kids need to see him every day. And he needs to see our kids every day,” Quigley said. “That’s as important to me as the coaching.”

North Myrtle Beach has, for the most part, held true to that standard for the last 16 years. Four of the last five coaches have also worked full-time inside the building. Still, change has come too often for everyone’s liking.

It began with the resignation of John Trussell following the 2010-2011 season. He had coached the Chiefs for eight years and was largely responsible for building a youth feeder system.

Longtime girls coach (and Coastal Carolina assistant) Frank Moorhead was brought back to replace Trussell. Moorhead coached for three seasons before retiring. His assistant, Cameron Koehler, took over, but he lasted for just two seasons before announcing that he was returning to his native West Virginia.

The Chiefs then brought in former Socastee and Coastal great Alvin Green, but the marriage was short-lived. Green was notified that he would not be returning last summer after just two seasons with the team.

In stepped Vincent, who in November became the first woman to lead a major boys program in a game when the Chiefs’ season commenced. The former Appalachian State women’s coach led North Myrtle Beach to a 7-16 overall record and a 3-7 finish in Region VI-4A. The Chiefs earned an at-large bid to the playoffs, where they were defeated in the first round.

Vincent is leaving Little River to return to the college ranks at WCU, where her former ASU assistant, Heather Kearney, was recently named the head women’s coach.

The Chiefs have won two region titles since 2011, the last one coming in 2015-2016 under Koehler. However, only two North Myrtle Beach squads has made it beyond the opening round of the state playoffs in the last decade.

The posting for the current opening will close Tuesday, and Quigley said he hopes to have a coach approved as early as the HCS board meeting on June 20.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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