Editors Note: This article is written by Ben Rankin, the son of Marion Head Football Coach Bob Rankin. He emailed this story to me today and after speaking with both Coach Rankin and his wife, we are honored to run the story in its entirety to release more details of the situation in Marion. SCPP will have our own editorial and follow up to the story as we finish gathering the details. Thanks to the entire Rankin family for sharing with us.............. Dave Pickren
I am writing this for Dave Pickren from SC Pigskin Prep.Com for all the friends of my Dad, Coach Bob Rankin from Marion, SC. There are a lot of good people on this board that know my Dad, and I want to make sure the record is set straight. Dad has a press conference scheduled this week with the Florence, and Myrtle Beach media, but I want to make sure this gets out to everyone outside of the lower state viewing area. Dad still has a lot of really good friends as well as family in the Upstate area and around the state of South Carolina.
My Dad is Coach Bob Rankin, formerly Head Football Coach of Marion High School. A little background for those of you who do not know him:
He was born to Mick and Carrie Rankin of Easley, and graduated from Easley High School. Coach Rankin has been a Head Football Coach in South Carolina for 40 years, and is currently the second active winningest coach in South Carolina with 313 victories. He is the fourth all-time winningest coach in the history of South Carolina High School Football. Coach Rankin has been inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. He was Head Coach of the 1985 Shrine Bowl Champion squad. He also served as an assistant coach at the Shrine Bowl, and has been a Head Coach for the annual North/South game.
Over the years, his former players have gone on to play at Clemson, USC, Furman, Wofford, The Citadel, PC, Newberry, The Kansas City Chiefs, The Miami Dolphins, and The CFL; among many others. In the past four years at Marion High School, his teams have made the playoffs 3 of 4 years. Two of those teams went 12-1(lower state runner-up), and 11-1(regional runner-up to Derrick Hamilton's Dillon squad).
On Wednesday of last week, Dad received a phone call from one of his assistant coaches. The coach was questioning Dad on why he had resigned without telling the coaches and players first (which would be totally out of character for my Dad). Dad's comment to the assistant coach was something to the effect, "What are you talking about? I haven't resigned." Upon hearing this, the assistant coach responded that he was on the way over to see Dad.
When the assistant arrived, he had a memo from the school superintendent stating that the Head Football Coaching Position at Marion High School for the 2003 season was vacant, effectively immediately. The memo had been sent out by the school's superintendent "unilaterally" to the faculty, staff, and the media. The issue was never taken before the school board prior to the superintendent's decision to release the memo. The superintendent, nor anyone else in the school administration, ever contacted my Dad to discuss any terms of his employment prior to the memo being issued. There had been "NO INCIDENTS" leading up to this memo that would have led my Dad to believe his job was in jeopardy.
To make things even more bizarre, the memo was sent to the Marion high school staff 4 days before a copy was mailed to my father. The District Superintendent then left town following her release of the memo, and has been "unavailable for comment". (Note: SCPP tried repeatedly to contact Dr. Cheryl Allread but messages have not been returned). My father did not receive a copy of the memo from the principal or the superintendent until Monday of the following week via US Post Service. The next released memo to the public media was made by the Marion High School Principal on Thursday stating that Coach Rankin had not been terminated from his position but that the position was open at this time for all candidates that wished to apply.
Coach Rankin served Marion High School for 24 years, posting an outstanding record during his career. More than that, he has always taken an genuine interest in his players long after their playing days are over. In fact, he has had several opportunities over the years to coach at the College level. He always had a "dislike" for the recruiting process at the college level, however, and felt like he could have a greater impact on young men at the high school level.
If you detect some anger from my post, you are correct. I am angry that a man who has d