The Dolphins' search is finally over.
After more than two months without a head coach, Hilton Head Preparatory School concluded its long-awaited football hire Tuesday, as athletics director Rich Basirico announced that Kevin Wald has accepted the position.
Wald replaces Kevin Orford, who left the Dolphins after only one season to focus on his Virginia-based business.
"I know that everybody was anxious to get this new football coach," Basirico said. "I'm so grateful that we did not rush into it, that we waited to do our search and find the right man in place for our football program.
"We're very excited to have him a part of our staff."
Wald comes to the Dolphins after three seasons at John Carroll High School in Fort Pierce, Fla., where he went 11-19. His best mark came in 2009, when he guided the Rams to a 5-5 record.
He resigned in January in order to pursue other opportunities.
"Obviously, it's about winning football games," Basirico said. "But along with that is building men with character and responsibility, which is right what we're looking for. It was perfect timing for us. We had some very strong candidates, but Kevin went right to the top."
Wald said he reached out to Basirico for the first time early last week and was called up for an interview shortly thereafter. It didn't take him long after that to accept the position.
"We got to talking on the phone, (Basirico) asked me to send a resume and cover letter," he recalled. "Within a few minutes he called me back and had me come up for an interview."
Wald, a Walhalla native and Clemson graduate, primarily employs a spread option offense while running a 4-3 and 5-2 defense. He said he has a few assistant coaches in place that were part of the previous staff and will "go from there" once he settles into the position.
He met his team for the first time Tuesday and will conduct his first practice session with the Dolphins on Thursday morning. Hilton Head Prep, which was given an extension by SCISAA on its spring practices until it found a head coach, will practice every day until next Friday, not including Sunday.
"My focus is to put the team through some workouts (so) we can get an idea of what they can do and what they're capable of," Wald said. "Just give myself a better opportunity to see them on the field and in the weight room a little bit. Then we can kind of go from there."
Wald said he is aware of the Dolphins' previous coaching moves but was not swayed by it in his acceptance of the job. He becomes Hilton Head Prep's fourth head coach in two years.
"What's in the past is in the past," he said. "I'm just focused on the future. I really didn't even try to dig anything up at all. I like the area here and I like the facilities.
"The field house over there is top notch. It's better than anything I've worked with before. That's the thing I'm focused on."
Wald's hiring concludes a hit-and-miss search by Prep, as the Dolphins officially extended an offer to three candidates only to see each pull out because of personal reasons.
None of that matters now, though.
"We think he's the perfect fit for our school," Basirico said. "He's young with experience and has the right mentality and the right attitude for what we're looking for in being the coach for Hilton Head Prep."