Beaufort High will have its third head football coach in three years next fall, but he will bring a degree of continuity.
The Eagles announced former offensive coordinator Bryce Lybrand as their new head coach on Friday, replacing Devonte Holloman, who left last month to take the same position at South Pointe.
The opening drew more than 70 applicants, BHS athletics director Linc Lyles said, and although the committee consisting of school administrators, district human resources officials, and community members ultimately opted for an internal hire, Lyles said it was far from pre-determined.
“Coach Lybrand crushed it,” Lyles said. “He’s had to earn it. This wasn’t just an inside decision.”
Lybrand did have the endorsement of Holloman, who brought him in as offensive coordinator last season after spending two years in the same position at Providence High School in Charlotte.
While many facets of the program will carry over, Lybrand intends to put his own stamp on things.
“I’m not going to try to be Coach Holloman,” Lybrand said. “We approach things differently, which is probably part of why we worked so well together. But we got some traction with the kids and built some excitement around the program last year, so we’re going to try to build off that.”
Lybrand was a standout at Greenwood High School, where he graduated in 2004, and an undergraduate student assistant at Clemson in 2006 and 2007. During his first year on the Tigers’ staff he was paired with an assistant coach — Dabo Swinney, who a year later became the head coach.
After graduating from Clemson in 2008, Lybrand spent two years as a graduate assistant at NCAA Division II Carson-Newman, four years as an assistant coach at Fort Dorchester High School, and one year as an assistant at Wando High School before taking the offensive coordinator position at Providence.
His desire to return to the Lowcountry lured him to Beaufort, and put him in the unexpected position to land his first head coaching position a year later.
“I was just settling in and getting ready to be the offensive coordinator for another year,” he said.
Now he’s working on job postings to fill out his staff, setting up meetings with middle school coaches, and planning his spring practice schedule. He hopes the fact that he’s already in the building will help lend some stability during the transition.
“The kids are excited,” Lybrand said. “They know me, and they know my style and the way I coach. I think more than anything it’s a relief to know they’ve got a head coach. These kids have been through a lot. … I think having some stability is something they’re excited about.”