Lipsey named head coach



By BRIAN WHITMORE
The Union Daily Times

David Lipsey is the new head football coach of Union County's consolidated high school.

Lipsey was introduced at a press conference this morning at the district office, surrounded by players from Union, Jonesville and Lockhart high schools.

"It's about these young men behind me," Lipsey said, pointing to the players.  "It's not about me, it's about them. Our coaching staff is going to invest their time in these young men's lives. Thatıs what it's about.

"We want to win. People say, "what are they going to call you?" I say, "I don't know, but I hope they call us champions. That's our goal."

Union principal Joe Walker introduced Lipsey. Walker heads the Athletic Review Committee, which consists of district athletic directors and was appointed to hire a coach and address consolidation issues as they relate to athletics.

"I introduce to you very proudly, very excitedly and very historically, coach David Lipsey as the first coach at Union County district high school," he said. "He has a tremendous resume to bring to us, tremendous character as a man and he's going to be very good for us and everything that we do to move forward."

Lipsey said he has fully embraced the challenge of consolidation.

"I'm very excited to be named to this position," he said. "I think it's a great challenge. We're going to bring together three schools with proud athletic traditions, three proud communities rich in athletic traditions and bring them together as one. That's our job - to bring everybody together and get everybody on the same page and go on together as one."

Lipsey admitted that consolidation is tough on all involved. For 43 years he's lived right beside Jonesville High School.

"It was tough," he said. "It was a shock. We came off the upper state championship game and are making plans for next year. Then, all of a sudden, things change. Jonesville High School has meant a lot to me. The school and people in the community have been great to me. I owe a lot to that school. I've been blessed to be there 25 years and 16 as head coach. This (opportunity) is a blessing."

A good relationship among coaches from all schools in the district will help the transition.

"Our staff has always had a good relationship with the Union and Lockhart staffs," said Lipsey. "We know each other well and have a good working relationship. Everybody is in it to help these young men. You get excited about new possibilities and I think the sky is the limit, where we can take this program."

"Things change and I think this is a great opportunity for our county. This is our new direction and I think it starts with football. We've got some things to overcome and we will. We've got good young men in our programs and they are going to lead us the right way."

Lipsey will meet with players at each high school today. He said he looks to have a staff in place as soon as possible.

He said his transition from Class A to 3A football will be made easier by assistants familiar with the classification.

"Most of our staff will be familiar with 3A football," said Lipsey. "The organization of the staff is going to be very important. I think the adjustment will be a smooth one."

Players in attendance were pleased.

"I'm excited about what is coming ahead," said Colby Hawkins of Union. "It's like what coach Lipsey said. It starts with us and hopefully we'll set a good example in leadership by schools about the consolidation."

"I'm happy he got the job, because I think he's a good coach," said Dwight Brannon of Jonesville. "It's going to be a big change, switching from 1A to 3A, but I think we're up for the challenge."

"I feel good," said Lamont Edney of Lockhart. "We've just got to go out there hustle, hit and never quit."

Lipsey, 48, graduated from Jonesville High School in 1977, Spartanburg Methodist College in 1979 and Newberry College in 1982.

A biology and physical education teacher, Lipsey been employed with the Union County School District for 25 years - all at Jonesville.

He's been a coach with the Wildcats for 17 years, serving as an assistant from 1882-1990 and as offensive coordinator for the 1990 Class A state championship football team.

Lipsey was named head football coach at Jonesville in 1991. His career record is 118-73, guiding the Wildcats to seven Region II-A championships and 15 playoff appearances.

He was named Region II-A coach of the year six times, was an assistant coach for the 2001 North-South Game and an assistant coach for the 2004 Shrine Bowl.

Lipsey and his wife GorgiAnna, have a son, Jordan, 4.

 

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