HHP taps Hammond assistant Etheridge to head football program

HHP taps Hammond assistant Etheridge to head football program

Hilton Head Prep has tapped into South Carolina’s most dominant private school football program to find its new head coach.

The Dolphins named former Hammond School assistant Dustin Etheridge as their new football coach on Wednesday, ending the search for Dave Adams’ successor after the longtime Lowco coach retired following the season.

Etheridge, a graduate of Lexington High School and the University of South Carolina, was a defensive assistant for the Skyhawks, helping lead a dominant unit to the best statistical season in an impressive program history as Hammond claimed its fifth consecutive SCISA 3A title.

“We are extremely excited to have Dustin as part of our Hilton Head Prep family and football staff,” HHP athletic director Erik Mathisen said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program, and I admire his desire to build on our past but also cultivate a new energy and culture around our football program.”

Etheridge began his coaching career at South Carolina, where he served as a student assistant for Ellis Johnson during the Gamecocks’ 2010 SEC East title run. He later served as assistant outside linebackers coach at Newberry College during the Wolves’ 2016 South Atlantic Conference Championship. He then entered the SCISA ranks as a defensive assistant at Ben Lippen before taking over as defensive coordinator at Heathwood Hall and eventually making his way to Hammond.

Now he moves south to take over a program in Sea Pines that has been thin on numbers — but not heart — in recent years, and he hopes to bring his experience with a perennial contender to Hilton Head Prep and rejuvenate a program that was once a title threat itself.

“My family and I are extremely excited to join the Hilton Head Prep community,” Etheridge said. “The family atmosphere and the potential of this football program led to my decision to leave Columbia for an opportunity to be a head football coach. We are going to run an exciting brand of football in all three phases of the game. I look forward to meeting and building relationships with everyone in this special
community.”

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