By Ian Leslie
Long-time Beaufort Academy soccer coach Rohan Naraine, a legend in South Carolina’s soccer coaching community, died Wednesday evening, Jan. 4, after a long illness.
Naraine joined the Beaufort Academy staff in 1990 after a career in the U.S. Marine Corps.
From 1990 to 1998, his teams won eight SCISA 3A State Championships and were also runners up an additional four times at a time when soccer champions were crowned in both the spring and fall seasons.
Over this period, Naraine led Beaufort Academy to a 156-12-4 record and earned SCISA Coach of the Year honors eight times. Naraine was an inaugural inductee to the Beaufort Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.
After leaving Beaufort Academy, Naraine made several coaching stops, including stints at Coker College, Coastal Carolina, Southern University, St. Andrews University and Arkansas-Pine Bluff before returning to the high school ranks to coach at Hilton Head Prep for a period. He also was a staple in the club soccer community, coaching teams throughout Beaufort and Florence counties.
Tributes flooded social media this week after word of Naraine’s passing spread.
“Sad morning! I learned of the passing of my high school soccer coach Rohan Naraine,” said Shawn Corley, an alum of the BA class of 1993. “Coach Ro was one of the most successful coaches in South Carolina HS soccer! More importantly he was a great teacher, mentor, leader, father and husband! He will be missed dearly!”
Garrett Wreden, a 2001 graduate of BA, posted, “Coach Rohan will be missed. His dedication to Beaufort Academy soccer and education set the course for unprecedented success that we continue to experience. We honor Coach Ro by maintaining high sportsmanship standards while continuing to develop the well-rounded student athlete where studies come first. Peace to you and your family Coach Ro.”
Wreden’s classmate Gordon Shuford, who himself coached soccer at BA, said, “Coach Ro demonstrated such admirable leadership and enthusiasm day in and day out, and he sought to build the confidence of each individual he came into contact with. He taught me how to take care of my body, taught me how to learn the game internationally, and showed me that sports are about so much more than records and stats. His efforts made the BA program a brotherhood.”
A viewing for Naraine will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, and his funeral service will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home Chapel in Florence.