Fort Mill High athletic director Dwayne Hartsoe has stepped down as head boys’ basketball coach.
Hartsoe, 54, stepped down after 12 seasons as basketball coach, but will remain at Fort Mill High as the school’s athletic director.
This past season Hartsoe broke the school record for career wins in the sport. He retires with a 186-104 career record at Fort Mill winning back-to-back Region III titles the past two seasons.
Hartose has been coaching basketball for the past 31 seasons. Besides his dozen years as head coach at Fort Mill, he was head coach at Lancaster for nine seasons, South Pointe for six seasons and Williston-Elko for four seasons. At Williston-Elko, he guided the team to the 1A state championship in the 1994-1995 season.
Hartose said basketball has become a nearly year-round sport at the high school level with basically only two months off, as teams are allowed to practice for multiple months in the off season. He added that if you aren’t practicing in those months when you can, you are falling behind as a program.
“Basketball has become a year-round thing, like most sports,” he said. “Opening up other times you can work with teams is great, but being AD (athletic director), I felt like I wasn’t able to commit the time needed to do both.”
As Fort Mill High grows and adds more sports like boys’ volleyball, which debuts this coming school year, Hartsoe has more and more responsibilities.
“I have talked about it the last couple years knowing how the AD job has grown,” he said. “It is really a full-time job being an AD. I feel like at certain times of the year I am struggling to commit to both of them, especially with basketball, with AD duties as well. I have been struggling with doing it, but I felt this was the time to do it. I don’t know if I was ready to give it up, but I felt like it was the right thing to do. “
Hartsoe said he still loves coaching and the competitiveness of being a coach. He said he can’t say for sure if he is done coaching all together.
“I will miss it,” he added. “I wouldn’t ever say no to it. I do love coaching. I have been doing it for 31 years. That is tough giving it up. I don’t know how I am going to react to not doing it. I know I am going to miss it; I just don’t know how much I am going to miss it. The itch is still there, but I felt like the right thing to do is not doing it anymore.”
One thing that he said he will miss the most about being on the sidelines in the coaching role is the relationships he builds with players over time.
“The competitive part and getting to build those relationships,” he said. “You don’t get as close to kids as AD as you would when you are the coach of your own team. I will miss that part of it. And the competitive part of it. I am a competitor and I like to compete. I don’t know how much I am going to miss doing that. The Tuesday and Friday nights when you tip the ball off and you get to make adjustments and compete, I am going to definitely miss that part of it.”
Hartsoe said he plans on making an announcement soon about who the school hires to be the new basketball coach and is looking forward to his one job as athletic director.
“I am grateful I get to remain here as the athletic director,” he said. “We have a great school and a great athletic department. It is great people to work with and work for. This will give someone else a chance to lead the basketball program and I will be right there beside them.”
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep