EDITORIAL: Outstanding Coaches
Clinton High School has a history of quality – some would say outstanding -- coaching in all sports. When you think of Red Devil coaches, the name Keith Richardson immediately comes to mind with 200+ wins and six state championships.
We would submit and advance the argument that Clovis Simmons’ name should be thought of in the same lofty ranking as Richardson.
Simmons has coached tennis at CHS for 27 years. She coaches both boys and girls tennis quite successfully.
In her 27 years of coaching the Red Devils, Simmons has won more than 28 conference Coach of the Year awards. Let that sink in.
The most recent honor came last month when she was named the Region Coach of the Year for leading the boys team to the state championship match in Cayce.
She has been to the state finals 12 times in her career in Clinton -- seven times with the girls and five times with the boys. She won the boys state championship in 2000.
Simmons is a future hall of famer and she should receive the recognition she deserves. She’s not flamboyant. She quietly goes about her job of producing champions who are good students and good citizens.
The CHS athletic website has the following mission statement for the tennis program: Clinton High Tennis strives to provide an atmosphere for individual and team growth while supporting academic excellence and to instill values that will stand the test of time as integrity builds trust and trust allows players to lead. Each student athlete will be expected to demonstrate leadership, teamwork, goal-setting, intensity. All student athletes on the Clinton High Tennis Team will make a commitment to try their best, whether winning or not, and to have fun. After all, tennis is a sport they will play for a lifetime.
Clinton (as a city, not just the school) has a tennis legacy that any large town would be proud of, dating back to nearly 100 years ago and the Jacobs family, and continuing through dozens of collegiate players, the most notable being Chuck Waldron, who has run the Clinton Junior Tennis program for decades, feeding high-quality tennis players to Clinton High School.
Keith Richardson’s coaching legacy is honored by having the playing field at Wilder Stadium named Richardson Field.
We would suggest the recently-reconstructed red tennis courts at Clinton Middle School – where the varsity Red Devils compete – should be named the Clovis Simmons courts.
Another CHS coach making a name for himself is Sean Vick, the varsity soccer coach. Vick’s team made it to the second round of the state playoffs after hosting – and winning – a first-ever home playoff match.
Vick announced Friday he is leaving to take a teaching-coaching job at Christ Church School in Greenville.
Vick was named the Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. He also won a Region Coach of the Year award in 2003 while coaching at Mid-Carolina High School.
Vick is a Clinton High graduate (1997) and played soccer for the Red Devils in 1996 and 1997. He then played club soccer at Clemson.
We wish him well and suggest the athletic director look at assistant coach John Michael Hammond, who is also the junior varsity head coach. The Red Devils have a fledgling girls soccer program which is losing its coach, also.
The soccer program deserves more attention and better facilities than they currently have. That wouldn’t hurt the school’s chances of keeping quality coaches.