Beaufort High School baseball coach Brook Dixon has resigned, telling players and parents at a postseason awards banquet Tuesday he was ready for a break.
Dixon coached the Eagles for seven seasons and was with the program for nine. He touted the Eagles' record under his tenure, and said he would spend more time with family. Dixon said he would remain as a teacher at Beaufort High.
"I probably won't go too far from the game," Dixon said, after most had filed out of Beaufort High's cafeteria. "But a year or two off will be just what the doctor ordered."
Beaufort High athletics director Jerry Linn said there was no immediate timetable for a new hire, but that a committee would be organized. He said the Eagles hoped to have someone in place in time to run summer activities.
Dixon's announcement closed an up-and-down year for the Eagles and their coach. In February, Dixon was found guilty of driving under the influence stemming from a 2009 charge and was suspended five games.
The Eagles opened the season by winning the Lowcountry Invitational tournament. But a six-game losing streak late in the season derailed their playoff hopes.
"From what he told us, he was ready for a break," Beaufort High principal Dan Durbin said. "A lot of things had happened over the past year with his personal life, and he was ready for a break."
Dixon said the Eagles did well to win 15 games with a young team, that Beaufort High faced the opposing teams' ace more often after its early season success.
Beaufort High loses three seniors but returns 11 players from this year's squad. Eight will be seniors.
"This program has progressed a great deal," Dixon said. "I think some lucky guy is going to inherit a sound program."
Players said they had heard rumors of the news that might come from their banquet, but knew nothing for certain. After a meal and awards ceremony, Dixon took the microphone for a last time, pausing for several seconds before saying he would step down.
"He was a great guy to go talk to when you needed somebody," said Eagles senior Beau Brown, who played for Dixon for three seasons. "He's a good coach."