Alford's exit leaves Beaufort Academy in search of new football coach

mmccombs@beaufortgazette.comApril 23, 2013 

Wheatley Alford has resigned as Beaufort Academy's head football coach, effective at the end of the school year.

"I have some health issues that I feel like I need to address," Alford said, "and I just felt like now was the best time to do it."

Alford has been the head football coach at the school for four years, going 8-33 in the S.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association's eight-man football division.

Also the Eagles' middle school baseball coach, Alford said he had informed Eagles' athletics director Mike Millwood before the start of the baseball season that he was considering the move.

Millwood said Alford had indicated he felt it was the right time to put his energy toward other things but didn't want to do anything before the baseball season ended last Friday.

"He came by today and said, 'let's go ahead and get this done,' " Millwood said.

Millwood said Alford deserved credit for all hard work he had put into the football program.

The last season the Eagles played 11-man football in 2008, the team had 14 players, according to Millwood. The Eagles had 22 on the squad for last year's eight-man squad.

"I'm looking for someone that's going to continue what Coach Alford has done," Millwood said of his search for a replacement. "We've grown the program, we have a solid foundation and we want to grow that foundation, particularly with our junior varsity program."

Millwood said he thought he would be ready to make an offer to a potential new coach in about two weeks. He said the school is targeting potential hires who would not only coach at the school, but teach there as well.

"Julia Corner, the head of school, has really been focusing on trying to have someone who is at the school and is there full time," Millwood said. "Someone who will get to know the boys on an everyday basis."

Millwood said he is not looking at anyone already at the school, but that the Eagles were looking for a coach that, "would have experience at the high school level. Experience in this area would be great, a plus."

Alford said that he would not rule out a return to coaching should he resolve his health issues. But for now, he is thankful for the opportunity he got at Beaufort Academy.

"I can't thank them enough for everything they've done for me," Alford said.

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