Swamp Foxes pick up seasoned football coaches

Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker is preparing for his 10th season as the head football coach for the Swamp Fox Football program.

Organization shouldn’t be a problem for the Ashley Ridge Football program this season.

Ashley Ridge recently added new members to its football staff, including two coaches who formerly served as a head coach for a Lowcountry Class AAAAA Football program. The additions will replace AR coaches who accepted jobs at other schools at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

“I’m excited about what all our coaches bring to the table,” Swamp Fox Football Head Coach Kenny Walker said. “There aren’t too many high school staffs with the type of coaching experience we have. I think our coaches have a detailed, yet simplified, approach that should serve us well.”

Walker is in his 10th season as the AR Football head coach. For two seasons prior to taking the reins of the program, he served as an assistant coach for Doc Davis, the only other head football coach the program has had.

Bobby Marion entered the month of June as the head football coach for West Ashley High, a positon he held since 2007. He was busy organizing coaches meetings, taking squads of varsity players to passing competitions and all the other things head coaches across the state were doing. Then he was told by West Ashley’s new principal, in late June, that he was no longer a Wildcats’ football coach.

Marion was offered a position at another Charleston County School, but quickly decided not to accept it and soon after did accept an offer to be the new offensive coordinator for Ashley Ridge.

Chris Candor has also joined the Swamp Fox Football staff this summer. Candor, the new AR outside linebackers coach, served as an assistant coach under Chuck Reedy during some of the most successful seasons the Gators had on the gridiron and was named Reedy’s successor. Last year, Candor took a year off from coaching.

Walker, Marion and Candor aren’t even the only coaches on the 2019-20 Swamp Fox Football staff with head coaching experience.

Rob D’Amato, who returns as the AR defensive coordinator, served as the first head football coach at Whale Branch when that school opened. After two years in the position, during which he had a winning record, he decided to return to the Lowcountry because he felt that was best for his family.

Joe Hauff, who was the head football coach at Beaufort Academy for two seasons, also returns as the AR secondary coach.

“I have a sound group that I can talk to about how they liked to run things,” Walker said. “I don’t think our coaching philosophy will change but there might be a couple of things that we want to do different. In addition to the guys who have run their own football program, we have coaches who have head-coaching experience in other sports. They can all help with in-game adjustments and know the teams around here so preparing for our opponents should be smoother.”

BJ Bellush, who was the original Swamp Fox Baseball head coach and has served as the offensive coordinator for the school’s football program, returns to coach the AR receivers this season. Brian Givens, the current head coach for the AR Baseball program, returns to coach the AR offensive backs.

Other coaches returning on the offensive side of the ball are Joe McCabe (Tight ends/H-backs), Ray Wilson (Offensive Line) and Caleb Strickland (Offensive Line).

The Swamp Fox varsity staff is rounded out by Jarret Johns, a newcomer who formerly coached at Goose Creek High. He will coach the AR defensive line.

“We have a lot of experience so the important thing is for us to all work together,” Walker said.