FORT MILL — The Nation Ford Falcons have found their next boys’ basketball coach in Michael Tew.
He takes over for Brian Turner, who stepped down after the 2012-2013 season to concentrate on his duties as Falcons’ athletic director. Tew, (pronounced “Two”) 53, comes to Nation Ford from Colleton County, where he spent nine seasons as head coach.
“I knew this area was a growing area with a lot of vitality and I felt it was an area that I could get in while it was growing more and build something special,” Tew said. “I enjoyed my time at Colleton County, but I felt like it was time for a change and time for a new opportunity.”
Turner said Tew was one of nearly 80 applicants for the job, which took nearly all the spring to fill as the school didn’t have a teaching position open until later in the year for Tew. He will be teaching PE at Nation Ford, taking the place of former baseball coach Dell Corley, who took a job at Rock Hill High School.
“It was a long process, but it’s the nature of our school district,” Turner said. “A lot of teachers don’t leave here.”
Turner said Tew met all the criteria they were looking for as far as a coach, including head coaching experience and a deep knowledge of South Carolina.
“We wanted someone who had experience and had been in different environments,” Turner said. “He has been a coach at all levels (1A-4A). He had all the ingredients of an experience coach. He has been in the state his entire career and he is still in the prime of his coaching career.”
Before his nine seasons at Colleton County, Tew spent the 2003-2004 season at Manning High School and the previous four seasons at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. His first season as head coach was in the 1998-99 at Blackville-Hilda High School.
Tew refers to himself as an unusual study because he got into coaching by coaching his son’s recreation team.
“I realized how much I missed being around it and I dove in head first and my wife (Laura) being a lot more intelligent than I am said, ‘if you are going to do this all the time, you might want to get paid for it,’” he joked.
Tew went to USC-Upstate and served as a student assistant to get his start in coaching in 1993. From there he went to Boiling Springs High School and served as an assistant, before going to the Charleston area which eventually led to him taking the Blackville-Hilda job.
He describes his coaching philosophy as having up tempo teams that play intelligent ball.
“What you have dictates what kind of style,” he said. “To me, basketball is supposed to be a free flowing game. I like to get up and down the court. Fast break basketball to me is a beautiful thing, but you have to do it intelligently, otherwise you can run yourself into some games or you can run yourself out of some games.”
Tew said because of the move to the area from Colleton County the summer has been a lot less organized than he is accustomed to.
“I have been back and forth trying to shut down my home in Walterboro and get a home here,” he said. “With me getting the job late in the year, I really didn’t get a chance to get a summer schedule in place. This summer we are trying to get as much accomplished as we can in a transition phase. Next summer I look forward to it being a lot more structured and organized.”
Having met some of his players already, he feels like he has a lot of potential for his first season.
“We got pieces to be decent this year,” he said.
Tew and his wife have two grown children.