Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School announced Wednesday the hiring of Chris Carter as the school’s new head football coach.
Carter has more than 20 years of coaching experience. He previously coached at Lake Marion from 2009-15. While with the Gators, he won 38 games, making three trips to the playoffs. He helped Lake Marion advance to the Lower State championship game in 2015 and was named Class 2A Coach of the Year.
Carter also coached four eventual NFL players, including Mike Williams, while at Lake Marion. In 2016, he took over as head coach at Edisto High School, with the Cougars posting a 7-21 record under Carter.
“Coming back to Orangeburg (Wilkinson) was never the plan,” Carter said. “It’s been a journey, working through Lake Marion and Edisto, that has brought me back. I saw the opportunity to give back to a community that helped me to make it out.”
Carter, a four-year starter at Orangeburg-Wilkinson, was named all-state at linebacker. He graduated in 1990 and went on to play at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
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“It’s the Bruins,” Carter exclaimed when asked about taking the job. “The opportunity to come home and help the kids in the same place I grew up. Working out on those same middle school and high school fields where I formed some great friendships, and now I have a chance to make an impact. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, I couldn’t resist.”
Orangeburg-Wilkinson finished the 2021 season with a record of 4-6, but finished 3-2 in region play and earned a spot in the Class 3A state playoffs. Carter will be taking over from Kevin Crosby, who decided to step away from coaching earlier this year. In four seasons, Crosby finished with a record of 20-20.
With spring practice getting underway, Carter said there is a lot to get done in a short amount of time.
“We’re moving fast,” Carter said. “There is a meet-and-greet Thursday with the community, and from there I will meet with the current assistant coaches in hopes of beginning to form a staff. We plan to hit the field on (May) 16th. During that time we will be working on the fundamentals, and taking time to bond as a team.”
Carter said his Bruins will be disciplined on the field but exciting to watch.
“We’re going to be aggressive,” Carter said. “We will take some chances, gamble. A lot of times teams play not to lose, but we’re going to play to win.”
Orangeburg-Wilkinson will be hosting the meet-and-greet with Carter Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium.
“Orangeburg-Wilkinson won a state championship in 1971,” Carter said. “They have always been an instrument in changing lives. It truly is a crown jewel of the community.”
“It’s the Bruins. The opportunity to come home and help the kids in the same place I grew up. Working out on those same middle school and high school fields where I formed some great friendships, and now I have a chance to make an impact. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, I couldn’t resist.”