New South Pointe football coach was asked how he’ll handle job’s pressure
South Pointe has named a graduate of the school as its new varsity football head coach.
DeVonte Holloman played his final season of high school football at South Pointe in 2008, and 11 years later, has been named Strait Herron’s successor. He was introduced during a news conference at the school on Monday afternoon.
“We wanted to make sure someone was really able to connect with South Pointe,” said Principal Dr. Marty Conner. “We have a tradition of winning, of football excellence, we wanted to make sure someone had the understanding of what we’re about here at South Pointe.”
Holloman comes to South Pointe from Beaufort High School, where he led the Eagles to a 5-6 record in his one season as the head coach. Beaufort athletic director Linc Lyles announced earlier Monday morning Holloman had resigned his position.
The Eagles will begin a search to find Holloman’s successor.
“Coach Holloman has proved to establish great relationships with players, coaches and parents,” said South Pointe athletic director Adam Hare. “Coach Holloman has a unique connection to our school. He understands the level of commitment and the deep connection that our football program has with our community.”
The Dallas Cowboys picked Holloman, a Charlotte native, in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft, following a successful college career at the University of South Carolina. He played in the NFL for several seasons as a Cowboys linebacker, before a serious neck injury curtailed his playing days.
Holloman spent one season as a graduate assistant coach at South Carolina, then was the defensive coordinator at Beaufort for a couple years before former coach Mark Clifford stepped aside, and Holloman was named head coach in the spring of 2018. He handed in his resignation at Beaufort Monday morning.
Back in 2008, Holloman was a key cog in South Pointe’s first state title-winning team, alongside Stephon Gilmore and Jadeveon Clowney. Holloman mentioned that he would make great effort to involve the program’s alumni more often.
“Some of the coaches that coached me are still here,” said Holloman. “It’s also where I learned a lot of my core values that led me to the career I’ve had.
Conner said that South Pointe’s hiring team interviewed six candidates for the head coaching position. Conner said that he wanted a players’ coach, and the 27-year old Holloman plans to fulfill that desire.
“I am committed to focusing on the entire student-athlete,” he said, before repeating the statement again. “I am committed to focusing on the entire student-athlete.”
A South Pointe student asked Holloman about his coaching style and he responded, “a little bi-polar,” to laughs from the crowd.
“I could be your best friend one minute, and I could see something wrong on be on your back in a heartbeat,” Holloman said. “Coaching is a weird mixture of love and intensity and I toe that line very closely.”
The Stallions’ head position came open when former coach Strait Herron retired on the field after his team’s upset loss to Daniel in the second round of the 2018 4A state playoffs. South Pointe’s playoff loss last November ended a streak of reaching at least the state playoffs’ semifinals in 10 consecutive seasons. The loss also ended a run of four consecutive state titles for the Stallions.
Herron leaves behind a legacy of incredible success. He guided the Stallions to five state titles in his eight seasons and won 102 games during that span, an average of 12.8 wins per campaign. He also was named National Coach of the Year in 2017 and sent nearly three dozen Stallions to college with football scholarships.
Holloman becomes South Pointe’s third head football coach. Bobby Carroll, who coached Holloman in 2008, launched the Stallions program with great success in 2006, before Herron took over in 2011. Holloman becomes the first African-American high school football head coach in the city of Rock Hill’s integrated school history.
“I’m extremely excited to be home,” he said, “and I’m ready to get started.”