Socastee High School has found its replacement for longtime athletics director Tim Renfrow.
Hal McManus, who has served in the same position at Boiling Springs since 2013, got the job.
“I’m really excited about it. I thought Socastee was a great fit for me and my family,” McManus said. “I’ve got a rising junior. The academic side is hugely important, as well as the athletic side. When I interviewed, [I told the committee] yes, my end game is to retire at the beach. But I’ve got a lot left in me. This is hopefully my last move.”
McManus’ words don’t necessarily match his 47 years. Nor does his experience level.
So far, he has been the athletics director at three well-known high schools in the Upstate — Boiling Springs, Spartanburg and Broome — as well as also serving as the head basketball coach at all three stops.
McManus’ name was included on an email sent to Socastee High School staff members Wednesday. Although Horry County Schools has not yet responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from MyHorryNews.com sent earlier in the day, a formal announcement from the district is expected as early as this week.
It was not immediately clear how many people applied for the position or how many interviews were conducted.
McManus is no stranger to Horry County Schools. He was the boys basketball coach at Conway High from 1997-1999, and he was a finalist for the North Myrtle Beach boys basketball job that went to Ryan Walker last year.
McManus, the son of legendary Byrnes boys basketball coach Harold McManus, oversaw athletics renovations as part of a building project at Boiling Springs that was completed in 2019, according to reports from the Spartanburg Herald Journal.
At Socastee, however, his biggest task will be turning around cornerstone sports that have struggled of late. For instance, the Braves football program has endured five consecutive losing seasons and has put together just three winning campaigns in the past 15 years.
The school hired North Rowan (N.C.) coach Ben Hampton to take over that program in the spring. Not long after, the school district announced that Renfrow — who served as athletics director before and after a 10-year stint as the school’s football coach — was among a large number of at-will employees who were being released in a cost-cutting move.
McManus said his first job will be to make those introductions and begin the communication process with all of his coaches.
“When I’ve come to a school in the past, I tell them ‘If you don’t think you can win here, you don’t need to be coaching at this school,’” McManus said. “It can’t be a situation where they don’t believe in that. If they don’t, kids will never be motivated to be successful.
“One of the most important aspects of my job is communication. I’ve got to be a great communicator with everyone involved — coaches, administrators, parents, everyone.”