Rohan Naraine watched the Hilton Head Prep boys compete last season against Beaufort Academy for the SCISAA soccer state championship.
Less than a year later, he’s their coach.
Prep athletic director Rich Basirico announced this week that Naraine woituld be the Dolphins’ new coach.
“We are excited to have our young men working with Coach Naraine,” Basirico said.
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Ironically, it’s Naraine’s time at Beaufort Academy that makes him well known to some in the area.
Naraine spent eight years at BA, winning eight SCISAA 3-A state championships and numerous coach of the year awards. He hired the Eagles’ current boys coach, Bill Dalton, initially as a goalkeeping coach before moving on.
He was a part of the school’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in the fall.
Naraine said he and Basirico had spoken several times over the past few years about coming to Prep. The usual obstacle was that a coaching job was open, but a teaching job was not.
The longtime coach attended Thomas University in the fall, but met with Basirico once again over the Christmas break.
“Finally, I got in touch and said I’d like to take the job,” Naraine said. “I made a sacrifice, took a chance and took the job despite no teaching position. I had a lot of talks with (Basirico) and former coach Larry Tavino, too. Because of Larry and Rich, that’s why I’m here to build a program.”
And the boys that I’ve met here are great kids, and they want to work hard and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Naraine has a lot of experience building a program.
In addition to his time at BA, he has more than 20 years of experience coaching in college. As the women’s coach at Coastal Carolina, he won two Big South titles and two league coach of the year awards. He was the first head coach in the history of Southern University and spent time at Coker College, St. Andrew’s University, Arkansas and Thomas.
But he was ready to make the move back to high school.
“I think the kids have changed (in college), changed a lot from when I started,” Naraine said. “Now it’s all about recruiting seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
“I think kids in high school respect you a lot more, too.”
Naraine thinks Hilton Head Prep has all the ingredients for a solid soccer program.
“The school is in good leadership hand,” he said. “It makes it easier to do your job and do what they expect you to do when you have the backing of the headmaster and the AD. They treat all the sports equally, and the booster club is great too.
“And the boys that I’ve met here are great kids, and they want to work hard and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”