Coastal Carolina is moving forward with its search for a new head football coach after the plan to hire USC assistant Steve Spurrier Jr. fell thru earlier in the week. Officials met with current assistant coach Maurice Drayton on Thursday primarily for informational purposes.
According to sources, Jacksonville University (FL) head coach Kerwin Bell and Lexington High School coach Scott Earley are two parties of interest to the school. Bell is a former Florida quarterback and is also under consideration for the offensive coordinator’s job with the Gators, a job Bell has said he is interested in. Bell has been the Dolphins head coach since 2007. He also serves as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Earley is the former head coach at Myrtle Beach High School where he won the 3A state championship in 2008. This season Earley led Lexington to an undefeated regular season only to lose in the opening round of the 4A playoffs.
Earley is known for his offensive creativity. His teams at Myrtle Beach and Lexington were among the highest scoring teams in the state.
Earley is the second high school coach in the state known to be connected to the opening. Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy, who won the 4A-Division Two state championship this season, also is interested in meeting with Coastal officials.
The Coastal board of trustees will meet Friday morning to discuss the recent turn of events in the football program that saw the ouster of David Bennett last Friday night. One of the questions about the hiring process revolves around how much Coastal can and will spend for its new coach and staff. Coastal is on the hook for five more years of Bennett’s contract. That could be close to a million dollars, depending on what lawyers for both sides work out. The school has told Bennett it will create a new position for him but it’s not certain Bennett will accept the new job.
It was concern over the salary for the head coaching position and the assistant positions that led Spurrier Jr. and later fellow USC assistant Shawn Elliott to withdraw from consideration earlier in the week. The school president told the Myrtle Beach Sun News that the salary for the new football coach should be in line with what the school is paying its basketball and baseball coaches, a base salary of 175-thousand dollars with incentives.