USC Beaufort has elevated Bernard Gaither to head track & field coach, stepping up from part-time assistant in a move that now places head coaching duties for cross country and track in different hands.
Longtime coach Larry Kimball will remain with the Sand Sharks, continuing to head the cross country program in the fall and assisting Gaither in the spring by developing distance runners. Gaither spent four years as a USCB assistant, while working as a high-school teacher and coach in Savannah.
“I am extremely appreciative for this blessing,” Gaither said in a statement. “It is a very exciting time for the program, and I feel with our staff and athletes we have the potential to win championships.”
Gaither helped develop Brandon Gourdine into an NAIA All-American in the 110-meter hurdles last season, and with helping Taylor Superior qualifying for the NAIA Outdoor Championships in her first season with the program.
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Gaither also played a lead role in recruiting 28 incoming freshmen to USCB – the largest recruiting class in Sand Sharks’ track history.
“Coach Gaither’s passion and commitment for our program is unparalleled,” Kimball said. “His knowledge of the sprints, hurdles and jumps and his ability to recruit top-flight student athletes has already shown great results. ... I look forward to continuing to work with him as we continue to grow the program.”
Assistant coaches Sarah Turrubiate and Bill Mahoney also will remain on staff, along with volunteer assistant Kenneth McDaniel.
Gaither was head track & field coach at Groves High in Savannah from 2009-12 before moving to nearby New Hampstead High, where he coached football, cross country and track & field. New Hampstead went 7-3 on the gridiron last season.
“He’s proven to be a great coach,” USCB athletics director Quin Monahan said, “but even moreso a strong leader and mentor for our young student-athletes. Coach Gaither will make an immediate and positive impact on our athletics community and we look forward to a great future with our track & field program.”
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Gaither competed in track and cross country for two years at Maryland-Eastern Shore before transferring to Towson University. He earned an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Towson in 2000, and a Master of Education in 2006 from Armstrong State.