Joey Price wanted another crack at becoming a head coach.
He’s going to get it at Green Sea Floyds.
Most recently an assistant coach at Loris after serving as the head coach at St. James for the 2017 season and enjoying a successful career in North Carolina, Price was approved Monday night as the Trojans’ new coach. He’ll be charged with replicating the previously unprecedented success that was built under Donnie Kiefer, who led Green Sea Floyds to back-to-back Class A state championships the last two seasons.
“This is a new team, new year,” Price said Tuesday, one day after he was formally approved by Horry County Schools. “If we have talent, yay. But it’s not like I’m walking in as a complete stranger. I know some of these kids. … Coach Kiefer, he did an awesome job. But it was his time to move on. They need a new coach, and I’m him.”
Price wondered if that would ever happen again following his departure from St. James after just one season.
He was hired to lead the Sharks in 2017, beating out Kiefer in the process. Price came in with a 238-42 record and five state championships at a pair of North Carolina schools. However, he couldn’t sustain that level with the Sharks in his one season, going 2-8 and missing the playoffs in the team’s final year before moving up to the state largest classification.
Price resigned in late April of 2018, citing a desire to become a full-time pastor. He served as interim pastor at Oak Dale Baptist Church in Loris and he's now at Cherry Hill Baptist Church. He didn’t stay away from the game for long, though, as he worked under his son, Jarret, at Whiteville (N.C.). Jarret Price had been announced as that school’s new head coach two days before Joey Price’s resignation from St. James and had a depleted coaching roster that his dad helped fill.
After one season there, Price was hired at Loris as the school’s strength and conditioning teacher and worked as an assistant under Jamie Snider in what amounted to the latter’s final season with the Lions. After the team went 1-9, Snider was relieved of his coaching duties.
Price applied for the top job, had a small-but-vocal support group in the community and was even one fo the four announced finalists. But Loris elected to hire Greg Mance from Richlands (Va.) last month.
That steered Price to Green Sea Floyds.
Green Sea Floyds Principal Andrea Pridgen and Athletics Director Derek Martin were at an out-of-town conference Tuesday and were not immediately available for comment outside of forwarding an in-house email announcing Price’s hire.
As for why he can be a head coach now and not two years ago, Price said it was all about timing.
“I went out for two years and I’ve done what I’ve needed to get ordained as a full-time pastor,” he said. “I feel like I can do it now and be a head coach. I’m not saying God told me to do anything. God gets blamed for saying a lot of things. I’ve been ready to be a head coach all my life. It’s what I do. It’s not something you [turn off].”
Per a response to a Freedom of Information Act request to Horry County Schools, Price was selected over former Fort Mill head coach and current Boiling Springs offensive coordinator Ed Susi — who last month was also a finalist at Socastee when Ben Hampton was hired — and Mark Palmer, who has been a steady runner-up inside Horry County football hire lists. Palmer, the head coach at Patrick Henry (Va.), has now been announced as a finalist at St. James (twice, including when Price there in 2017), Aynor and Green Sea Floyds in the last three years.
The Trojans’ opening attracted 33 official applications, with nine people getting initial interviews, per the district’s response to the FOIA request.
Price said he will be the full-time strength and conditioning coach at Green Sea Floyds in addition to his football duties. It will give him the hands-on opportunity that he made the most of at both Wallace-Rose Hill and South Columbus.
“Green Sea is a community school,” Price said. “It’s a school I’ve always been at. It’s all about the kids. I think that’s the kind of program most coaches want to be in anyway.”