Hartsville High introduces new basketball coach, athletics director

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

With the end of the school year barely still in the rearview mirror, Hartsville High School he-ld a press conference June 26 to introduce the school’s new athletic director and women’s basketball coach. HHS Principal Corey Lewis, who was also newly hired into his position, introduced them.

New Hartsville High School athletic director, Jamie Horton.
Photo by Melissa Rollins

“We are here today to official announce our new athletics director, Jamie Horton,” Lewis said. “This comes as no surprise to most of you as Jamie resigned her head softball coach position last year to begin a year-long apprenticeship under coach Phyllis Griggs, who was retiring. I am confident that she is ready to provide the leadership necessary to continue our rich athletic tradition.”

Lewis said the softball program has been successful under Horton, noting that she has been a success on and off the Red Fox softball field.

“Many of you are familiar with Coach Horton due to her success with our softball program, which is included a state title in 2016,” Lewis said. “However, many of you may not be familiar with the outstanding job she’d done as a teacher and as an advocate for students throughout her teaching career. She was recognized by the Darlington County School District as District Teacher of the Year for the 2015-2016 school year. Although she will step into a different role, I’m pleased to know that Jamie’s work will continue to positively affect the lives of those who enter Hartsville High School.”
Horton said that athletics has helped shape her and she is happy to be able to be part of that tradition in Hartsville.

“Growing up, athletics played a big role in my life,” Horton said. “They helped mold me and shape me, taught me more life lessons than I can count and helped me find my purpose. I didn’t always know what I wanted to be when I grew up but I knew that my path was going to somehow involve education, athletics and helping young people.”

New Hartsville High School women’s basketball coach, Justin Johnson.
Photo by Melissa Rollins

Horton said Phyllis Griggs will be a hard act to follow but she is up for the challenge.
“I am thankful for that path that Phyllis Griggs paved and I know that I have big shoes to fill,” Horton said. “I am confident that my youth, energy, passion for athletics and knowledge in new technology will help me in my new position. It will also help me keep Hartsville High School athletics in the forefront of athletics in South Carolina.”

Justin Johnson was hired as the new girl’s basketball coach. Horton said that his experience on the collegiate level will help prepare Hartsville’s students.

“He began his coaching career while he was a student at Newberry College, assisting both the men’s and the women’s program,” Horton said. “I believe this experience will benefit our program as it helps our athletes get recruited and transition from high school to college. We are looking forward to Justin coming in and making a positive impact on our girl’s basketball program.”

Johnson said that he was excited for the chance to coach at Hartsville High School, a school, he noted, that puts emphasis on both academics and athletics.

“(There was) a gracious search committee who asked some very good questions and that allowed me to see that they were serious about athletics here; that is something that is very important,” Johnson said. “They are also serious about academics, which is something that is extremely important to me. I take pride in having student-athletes who believe in being students first. Students are going to get their schoolwork done and do the things that the teachers ask because at the end of the day we want our student-athletes to be representative of our program in the classroom, in the community and on the court.”

Author: Stephan Drew

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