WEDDINGTON – Tim Carson is leaving Weddington High School to coach football in the county where he grew up.
The School District of Oconee County announced Dec. 12 that Carson will coach at West-Oak High School in Westminster, S.C., which is about a three-hour drive from here.
The West-Oak Warriors went 0-10 in 2017, losing two games by at least 60 points each. West-Oak has won only 1 game over the last three seasons, dating back to Oct. 30, 2015.
“I believe that we can help build West-Oak’s football program by instilling good sportsmanship, self-discipline and character in our players,” Carson said in a statement from the school district. “This allows us to develop game plans that lead to success on the field of play, no matter the situation.”
Carson has a track record of success, having amassed a 75-23 record in seven seasons at Weddington. He guided Weddington in 2016 to its first state championship, after reaching the title game in 2014.
“It’s a coach’s dream to win a state championship, and to take a group of men and be the winningest class in Weddington history is special,” Carson said after winning that championship. “These kids worked hard. They finished it off right. Me as a coach 28 years, I’ve been here twice, and I finally got one. That’s something I’m proud of, and I’m proud of these kids.”
The Warriors finished 2017 with a 10-4 record, despite losing several starters to graduation.
“It starts with the older players and goes down to even the younger kids, whether it’s middle school or junior varsity,” Carson told Union County Weekly earlier this season. “They are used to winning, and they trust in what we are doing. They have bought into it.”
The Charlotte Touchdown Club honored Carson recently with Coach of the Year honors. He’s also serving as defensive coordinator for the 2017 Shrine Bowl.
News of Carson’s departure spread after Weddington High School tweeted Dec. 11 that he planned to retire as physical education teacher and football coach, effective Jan. 31, 2018.
“Thanks to Coach Carson for many years of successful service,” the school tweeted, noting a search for a successor had started.
David Bayha, a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill, was among former players to post reactions on social media.
“He shaped me to be the man that I am today … one of the best mentors and coaches I have ever had in the game of football and in my life,” Bayha tweeted. “Very blessed to have been able to learn and grow under him throughout high school.”
Carson has coached football for 29 years, including stints at Sun Valley and Parkwood.
Cory Smith, football coach at Forest Hills, tweeted he was fortunate to have played for, coached against and continuously learned from Carson.