These Midlands high school baseball programs are looking for new coaches. A closer look

Casey Waites planned to be a head baseball coach for 10 years.

The Dutch Fork coach went one year over that mark and decided to retire from high school baseball. He told his team that news Wednesday night at the program’s end-of-year banquet.

Waites just finished his 11th season as head coach at Dutch Fork, which won a district title this season before being eliminated in the Class 5A Upper State playoffs. The Silver Foxes finished with a 17-13 record.

Waites won almost 180 games during his time at Dutch Fork.

Before Dutch Fork, Waites spent 17 years combined as an assistant coach at Lamar and A.C. Flora. He was on Andy Hallett’s staff at A.C. Flora and was part of three state championship seasons in his 10 years with the Falcons.

Waites also was head softball coach at Lamar and led them to the 1999 Class A championship series.

He got his own baseball state championship as a head coach during a memorable three-game series against Blythewood in 2019. The Silver Foxes dropped the opening game of the series before winning game two and three, the final contest in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Columbia Fireflies’ Segra Park.

Dutch Fork went 6-0 in elimination games in the playoffs that year for the program’s first state championship.

“We were battle-tested from the conference we are in,” Waites said after the game. “I have had a blast in these elimination games. The nerves were in trying to make the playoffs, but this was fun. I’m just living the dream tonight with these guys right here.”

Dutch Fork won’t be the only baseball program in the Midlands with a new coach next year. Here is a look at some of the others:

New era at Pelion baseball

Hall of Fame Pelion baseball coach Barry Fogle is retiring after 37 years as head coach, including the last 24 at his alma mater.

Fogle won 546 games in his career and five region titles at Pelion. He was inducted in the S.C. Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2022 and S.C. Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2023.

Before Pelion, Fogle was head coach at Allendale-Fairfax, Midland Valley and Williston-Elko.

Fogle’s replacement has already been found. Former Pelion standout Josh Lang will be the school’s new coach. Lang has been an assistant coach at Broome in the Upstate and also spent time as an assistant coach at Limestone, where he played college baseball.

Pelion baseball coach Barry Fogle won his 500th game on Monday, April 26, 2021.
Pelion baseball coach Barry Fogle won his 500th game on Monday, April 26, 2021.

Other Midlands openings

Banks Faulkner resigned after one season at American Leadership Academy, which opened this year and played a junior varsity schedule this season but will play a full varsity schedule next year.

Before ALA, Faulkner was head coach at Blythewood High School for six seasons. He had a 112-43 record while there, winning multiple region championships and leading the Bengals to the 2019 Class 5A championship series. Blythewood’s 2022 squad won a school-record 30 games, was ranked nationally before losing to Fort Mill in the Upper State championship. Faulkner also was the head coach at Summerville for two seasons and led the Green Wave to the 2016 Class 4A championship.

Rusty Charpia has stepped down as Brookland-Cayce baseball coach. Charpia will remain as the school’s football coach and athletic director. He has been the school’s football coach since 2011 and coached baseball the last several years.

Under Charpia, the Bearcats baseball program won back-to-back region championships in 2022-23. B-C hadn’t won a region title since 2008 before that. The Bearcats were ranked No. 1 in state in 2023 and made it to the Class 3A Lower State championship.

Dreher will look to replace Matthew Hornsby, who resigned after three seasons. Hornsby was expected to take the ALA job but decided against it. There is a chance he ends up back as an assistant at Gray Collegiate, where he worked before Dreher. The Blue Devils are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons. Dreher went 20-10 this year and lost to eventual lower state champion Hanahan in the 3A district playoffs.

Seth Cooper won’t be back as White Knoll head coach, he posted on his Facebook page over the weekend. Cooper has been the head coach since the 2021-22 season. The Timberwolves went 11-16 this year and won their first playoff game since 2017.

Spring Valley is looking to replace Tommy Satterfield, who is not returning after one season. The Vikings went 5-19 this year and missed the playoffs.

Ridge View is looking for a replacement for Rod Sanders, who had been at the school the past three seasons.