By Mike McCombs
Legendary Battery Creek High School wrestling coach Nathan Day died Friday after a battle with COVID-19.
Battery Creek faculty and staff were informed Friday afternoon.
Day, who had been the head wrestling coach at Liberty High School in the Upstate since 2017, won six state championships at Battery Creek High School (1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2014, 2015) and coached Dolphins to 30 individual state champions in his 16-year tenure at the school.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that we lost Coach Nate Day this afternoon,” Liberty Middle School posted on its Facebook page. “We have lost a teacher, coach, friend, valued colleague, husband, father of two, and grandfather. Our grief and confusion at this time are little compared to what the Day family must be feeling. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.”
Day started coaching at Battery Creek during the 1987-1988 academic year after two seasons as an assistant coach at Summerville High School. He won his first state championship in his fourth season (1991) before winning titles the first three years after the S.C. High School League changed the state championship format to the duals format (1994-1996).
In 1998, Day stepped away from coaching. When he returned, he spent two years as an assistant coach at Robert Smalls International Academy (2010-2012) before returning to Battery Creek.
When Day returned to the Dolphins, it didn’t take him long to pick up where he left off, beating Liberty in 2014 and 2015 for two more state championships.
In 2017, Day left Battery Creek and became the head coach at Liberty, where he took the Flames to the state championship final in 2018 before losing to Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
Overall, Day’s six championships put Battery Creek fifth in S.C. history, tied with three other schools. His 475 coaching wins (475-122-2) place Day eighth all-time among S.C.-only head coaches.
This story will be updated.
Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.
State wrestling championships by school
Rock Hill 19
Battery Creek 6
Chesterfield 6, Lugoff-Elgin 6
Belton-Honea Path 5
Photo caption: Nathan Day, who won six state championships as the Battery Creek wrestling coach, died Friday after a battle with COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Ron Lanham.