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Lancaster High School athletic director Mark Strickland said LHS will be searching for a coach with “high energy” as the Bruins’ new head football coach.
“He’s got to get after it,” said Strickland about the person who will fill the position with the retirement of LHS head coach Bennie McMurray.
McMurray retired from coaching Dec. 4, capping a 38-year career in coaching which began at Buford High School as a Jackets’ football assistant and baseball coach.
He spent the last eight years in Lancaster where he compiled a 39-54 mark with three winning seasons and three postseason bids.
McMurray, 64, also coached at Lewisville High and E.E. Waddell High School in Charlotte where he coached before coming to Lancaster, his hometown.
McMurray, in 27 seasons as a head coach, posted a 218-127 record.
“We would want to have a coach with head coaching experience, but he doesn’t have to be,” said Strickland, a former assistant coach at Lancaster where he worked under former Bruins’ head coach Johnny Roscoe and McMurray.
“We want a person who comes from a good program,” he said.
Strickland said the job will be posted.
“We will then take applications,” he said. “There’s no big hurry. We’re not going to rush into anything.”
The new Bruins’ head coach will inherit a team which posted a 2-9 record for the second straight season and failed to win a region game in its last season in Region III-AAAA which produced the 2013 Class AAAA Div. II state champion in Northwestern High School of Rock Hill.
Lancaster will be moving into the Class AAA ranks and complete in a region which will feature Broome, Chester, Clinton, Union and South Pointe of Rock Hill.
South Pointe, like LHS, will be moving from Region III-AAAA next season.
Roscoe, who McMurray replaced, followed Creig Tyler as the Bruins’ coach in 1985. He coached at Lancaster for 21 seasons – the longest tenure for a LHS head football coach. He was 135-122 at LHS, which included two Class AAAA state championship game appearances in 1989 and 1990. The Bruins, under Roscoe, had 12 winning seasons and earned 16 playoff bids.
The new Bruins coach will be the ninth at LHS since the 1960 football season.
“I would hope to have a new coach soon after the new year,” Strickland said.
Lancaster opens it 2014 season Aug. 29 when the Bruins host county rival Andrew Jackson. LHS will also host the annual Founders Kickoff Classic, the preseason scrimmage which is slated to be played at Memorial Stadium Aug. 22.
Prior to opening region play, the Bruins will face AJ, Richland Northeast, Central of Pageland, Camden and Lewisville in non-region games.