FORT MILL — It’s not every day that new coaches in the same sport start coaching at rival schools the same year. But Fort Mill and Nation Ford’s new cross-country coaches may be trend-setters.
For the Jackets, Fort Mill has hired Terrance Herrington to replace Marc Pyrc, who took an administrative job in the Clover School District.
If the Herrington name sounds familiar, it is. He is the same Herrington who was a member of the 1992 US Olympic team in Barcelona, Spain, running the 1,500 meters, and three-time US National Champion in the 1,500-meters. He competed professionally from 1989 to 1999.
A middle distance runner in college at Clemson University, Herrington is a five-time ACC champion and four-time NCAA All-American. A track in Hartsville is named after Herrington as he still holds the school records in the 800-meters and 1,600-meters at Hartsville High and at 800-meters and 1,500-meters at Clemson University.
Herrington made his intentions clear at his first day of practice to his new team.
“They already have a pretty good program,” Herrington said. “But I would like to try to win a state championship.”
Herrington, a former Winthrop University assistant track coach, also coached Pyrc when he was at Winthrop. Herrington lives in Rock Hill, but works out of Columbia now as an insurance claims adjuster.
At Nation Ford, Richard Cooney takes over for Caitlyn Tooley Bagwell, who stepped down after last year.
Cooney, who immigrated to the U.S. from South Africa 20 years ago and runs his tax accounting firm in Charlotte, was a runner at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and was also a middle distance runner in college. He also has goals for the Falcons.
“I want them to improve their ranking,” Cooney said. “I want them to improve as a team and have a couple of individuals qualify for the state championships.”
Nation Ford and Fort Mill open the cross-country season Sept. 3 at the Anne Springs Close Greenway against each other as well as South Pointe and Clover.