Laurens basketball coaching search field narrows

Laurens High’s search for a new boys’ head basketball coach has narrowed the field of potential finalists to four as the school announced Friday that Michael Morrison, Ryan Walker, Charles Wimphrie and Rico Salliewhite.

Morrison is currently an assistant coach with Eastside High, and was formerly a player at Loyola University in Maryland. He is the school’s only Division I-era player to be drafted in the NBA, playing for the Phoenix Suns, Washington Bullets and Orlando Magic before playing overseas. Morrison was inducted into the MAAC Hall of Fame in 2013, and into the Loyola Hall of Fame in 2014.

Walker is an assistant at Dorman, which won the Class 5A state championship this past March. HE has prior experience as a Division I and II player and coach, with prior experience as a head caoch on the middle school level. He has never been a head coach at the varsity level.

Wimphrie has been the head coach of Southern Wesleyan’s men’s squad since 1993, and is a native of Laurens. He averaged 20 points and 15.5 rebounds during his Laurens days, before going on to play at The Citadel and SWU – the latter where he holds the current single-season scoring record (781 points). His 27.5 ppg average in 1981 was fifth-best in the country.

Salliewhite is the head coach at McCormick, a job he’s held since 2013. His teams have made the playoffs three of his four years at the helm, and he was named Region 1-1A Coach of the Year this past season. He was the former JV head coach and assistant head coach at Laurens from 2010-13, and was the head coach at Thornwell from 2002-07, before moving on to be an assistant at Mauldin from 2007-10.

It is expected second interviews will take place next week, with a final decision coming early next month.

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