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Experienced Turn-Around Coach To Lead AHS Football Hornets

Dwayne Garrick will soon lead a new team of student athletes as the recently-selected Head Football Coach of the Aiken High School Hornets.

The highly-regarded coach with more than 200 wins over the last 23 years and a reputation for turning around programs throughout the state says he’s been interested in the potential at Aiken High (AHS) for some time now.

“It’s a spot that I’ve always had my eye on,” Garrick explained. “It will take some work. But, with the type of players there and coaches already in place, the program can be very very successful.”

A diverse group of teachers, players, administrators, and community members served on a hiring committee and conducted nearly a dozen interviews to select AHS’ new coach.

“He was the top choice for all of us,” Aiken High School’s Principal Alisa Hamrick shared, “and really stood out to the players.”

Coach Garrick currently serves as Barnwell High School’s Head Football Coach. Throughout his time at Barnwell, he has coached the Warhorses to multiple region and lower state championships, and boasted a perfect regular season record in 2022. Garrick has led the Warhorses as their Head Football Coach for the last eight seasons, although his responsibility for the progression of Barnwell’s football program dates back much further.

He first served the Warhorses as an Assistant Football Coach in 1997, and was promoted to Head Coach and Athletic Director in 1999. He left Barnwell in 2002 for a position as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Hillcrest High School. He went on to serve in similar capacities at Dorman, Williston-Elko and River Bluff, before returning to Barnwell as the school’s Head Football Coach in 2015.

Garrick attended Presbyterian College, where he studied history. He gained certification as a secondary Social Studies teacher in 1990, as he also pursued a graduate degree at SC State University. While at State, he coached the Bulldogs’ inside and outside linebackers and served as a special assistant to the defensive coordinator.

Among numerous coaching accolades are Region 5 Coach of the Year (2018-2019), CSRA Coach of the Year (2018), South Carolina Football Coaches Association (SCFCA) Class A Upper State Coach of the Year (2010), Class A Division II Coach of the Year, and High School Sports Report (HSSR) Class A Division II Coach of the Year (2009).

He has also been named coach of several post-season teams, including South Carolina’s Head Coach in Border Bowl (2018), North-South All Star Game Head Coach (2018), and Shrine Bowl Assistant Coach (2010).

While Garrick doesn’t officially begin his new role as AHS’ Head Football Coach until June 10, he plans to get started soon for March’s open season.

“Football in high school is a year-round sport,” he shared. “Dedication, commitment, teamwork, all of those things will be big for our players. Athletics will be a stepping stone for these young men as far as life is concerned. We’ll teach those things on the football field that will help them achieve success in their lives.”

The Hornets are buzzing with excitement to welcome Coach Garrick.

“He really seemed like a college coach,” Principal Hamrick commented. “His coaching philosophy and commitment to helping players find success by overcoming obstacles in the sport and in their lives is really impressive.”