After 19 years coaching basketball on Hilton Head Island — the last 10 as Hilton Head High’s head boys basketball coach — Ken Updike is ready to explore the potential for a fresh start.
Although he has not resigned from his teaching position, Updike said he stepped down from coaching to consider other opportunities, including the prospect of moving closer to his aging parents in New York or moving into athletic administration. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration.
“I’ve got this desire to explore personal and professional opportunities,” Updike said. “I don’t really know what they are yet, I just know I would like to see. … I just came to the realization that with this desire to go explore, I wasn’t going to be able to both successfully.”
HHIHS athletics director Joe Monmonier said he and Updike had a similar conversation last summer, but the coach elected to return for another season. Monmonier said he was grateful for Updike’s decision to resign now, rather than waiting until summer and potentially hampering the timeline for hiring his replacement.
“He didn’t want to cheat me, or cheat the school, or cheat the kids if he leaves in June or July,” Monmonier said. “He’s given us time to find a replacement, so we’re appreciative of that.”
Monmonier said he posted the position on Monday and has already received numerous resumes. He is in the process of forming a committee to vet the candidates and hopes to begin following up after the school district’s transfer window closes April 1, giving him a better idea of the teaching positions that will be open next year.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to search for someone,” Monmonier said. “We haven’t had a big search like this for a while.”
The Seahawks were 85-153 during Updike’s tenure, including a 6-19 overall record and an 0-6 mark in Region 7-4A this season. Despite a rocky final season that was marred by injuries, Updike feels he is leaving the program in good shape. He’s especially excited about the junior varsity program’s second-place finish at the Region 7-4A tournament this season.
“There’s some good young talent there to work with,” Updike said. “I feel like part of me leaving now to go explore, some of that has to do with me wanting to leave the program better than I found it, and I think it is.”