On Thursday, Bamberg-Ehrhardt football defensive coordinator Corey Crosby signed on to become the new head football coach at Blackville-Hilda High School in Blackville.
Crosby has coached his hometown Red Raiders program alongside his brother, Kevin "Butch" Crosby, for 14 seasons. They had Bamberg-Ehrhardt in the Class 2A state championship game this past season.
But the chance to run his own program only 15 miles away was a new challenge that interested Corey Crosby.
"It's a great opportunity," Corey Crosby said. "Blackville and Bamberg are both great places and great programs in great school districts.
"It's a chance to run your own program, put your stamp on it, make some decisions and see how they turn out."
Blackville-Hilda plays in Region 3-A, against Denmark-Olar, Estill, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, North, Ridge Spring-Monetta, Wagener-Salley and Williston-Elko.
"Coach Crosby is a great guy and he is my brother," Corey Crosby said. "We've been together (on the sideline) for 14 years, but even Nick Saban and other top coaches have made great coaches from their own staff.
"This is a great chance to make a great program on my own. Coach taught me so much and I'm ready to apply that to the program at Blackville-Hilda."
Crosby will be following longtime Fighting Hawks head coach David Berry. B-H posted a 4-8 record this past season.
"They have talent and tradition at Blackville-Hilda," Corey Crosby said. "Back in 2004 and '05, they would beat us in Bamberg.
"It's just a situation where Coach Berry put in 30 years of hard work to build that program and, with him retiring, it's a great opportunity. It's a small town with football tradition that reminds me of Bamberg. Football Friday nights mean something to people in both places. I put my name in for one job and this was it."
Corey Crosby was able to visit Blackville-Hilda on Thursday and meet some of the football players he will be coaching.
"I think I have a great staff in place, with some coaches who are already there and a some I am bringing in," he said. "I started evaluating the kids some today; they know who we are and they want to win.
"They are used to being a physical team, having run the wishbone for so long for Coach Berry. Offensively, we are going to adapt some of what Coach Crosby does on offense, with jet sweeps, and power runs and play-action. We will run the ball and be physical and play great defense. I'm going to meet with most of the kids there next week, but today I probably had 20 of them come up to me out near the buses saying they are excited to get things going and do what it takes to be successful. They are ready to get in the weight room. They are hungry."
Corey Crosby said the main thing he will teach the Fighting Hawks from his state playoffs and state championship game experiences will be playing under your emotions, even when the game is going fast.
"We're going to find a way to get things going again in Blackville and get them playing on Thanksgiving weekend," he said.
Crosby pointed out that he has worked for and learned from some great people, including "Butch" Crosby, Bamberg superintendent Phyllis K. Schwarting, B-E principal Dennis Ulmer, and B-E director of student services Dottie Brown.
"For 10 years here at Bamberg-Ehrhardt, I've been the defensive coordinator, and they've been great years," Crosby said. "In that time, we've had 107 wins and just 24 losses. It's been a blessing.
"That's the hardest thing to go away from. My brother is a great coach and a great guy; he never stood over me on anything. For me, I'm not just leaving Bamberg, but I'm leaving family. Of course, they will always be family But, I know I'm going to miss it here."
Crosby leaving the Red Raiders program only furthers the steady speculation since January that Butch Crosby could be hired by Orangeburg-Wilkinson to be the next coach for the Bruins.