Three coaches with previous ties to Battery Creek High School are the finalists for the school's head football coach vacancy, principal Ed Burnes said Tuesday.
Wade Hampton High School coach Jim Shuman, Beaufort High School defensive coordinator Jerry Hatcher and Scott Schwarzer, coach at Southwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, N.C., are the finalists for the position that came open when Carlos Cave resigned in December after three seasons to pursue administrative opportunities.
Burnes said the three finalists came ranked in the order the search committee, led by athletics director John Drafts, felt they should be considered. He declined to reveal the top choice Tuesday but said the final recommendation could reach the district office by Friday.
Hatcher, who started his coaching career at Battery Creek in 1990, led one of Class 4-A's top scoring defenses last season. As defensive line coach, he helped mold former Beaufort High defensive end Devin Taylor, who was an All-Southeastern Conference selection this past season at South Carolina.
Hatcher said he is happy with his current job and that applying for Battery Creek's opening is not career-motivated.
"My thing is, I think I can help the kids at Battery Creek," he said. "It's not a matter of stepping up. I made the commitment to stay in Beaufort County. I think I can help the kids over there, help them achieve their goals and go to college and help them win. It's not about me. It's about them."
Shuman, a science teacher, graduated from Wade Hampton in 1994. He coached in various coordinator roles in the Upstate before returning to the area as offensive line coach at Battery Creek in 2006. From there, he took his first head coaching job at Wade Hampton, where last year he finished his fourth season.
Shuman said he had no reason to leave his alma mater, but said he liked the challenge presented at Battery Creek and thought the pieces were in place to build a program.
"Having been there, there's some great kids and good athletes," Shuman said. "I see it as a great opportunity to come in and work with a great school and a good program to try and help them build a successful team."
Schwarzer coached at Battery Creek as offensive coordinator under Fred Hamilton in 1999. He has coached in North Carolina the past 11 years, the last four as head coach at Southwest.
Schwarzer's brother graduated from Battery Creek, and his parents live nearby on Fripp Island. He was visiting his parents when he heard news of the opening and said he talked to Drafts about his interest.
"I've got a great situation now," Schwarzer said. "But for me, it's like returning home."