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Colleton Prep names Rob Gorrell as Head War Hawk Varsity Football Coach

Rob Gorrell will lead War Hawk football in 2015. Photo by Cindy Crosby

Colleton Prep Academy Head of School, Jill Burttram, introduced the new head varsity football coach, Robert Gorrell III, to the War Hawk football players on Friday afternoon. Twenty-six year old Gorrell, will become the fourth football coach in as many years for Colleton Prep, following one year stints by Leroy Riley, Ryan Bishop, and most recently, Thad Wells.

Gorrell is currently the assistant varsity football coach at Barnwell High School in Barnwell, S.C., where he has been for the past three years, also serving as junior varsity basketball coach and a math teacher.  He attended high school at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia, where he played WR and DB and was a part of a four straight stint of state championships from 2003-2006. Gorrell also played basketball and golf for Collegiate School.

In 2012, he graduated from Wofford College, in Spartanburg, where he played for the Terrier golf team. “My dad started me at an early age learning the game of golf,” said Gorrell. “I was too competitive not to play a sport in college. I was never accused of being strong or fast, so golf seemed like the best option to pursue at the next level.”

Gorrell is excited about making Colleton Prep home. “Having spent 13 years at a K-12 school in Virginia, I know what a valuable experience it can be,” admitted Gorrell. “When it was brought to my attention that Colleton Prep had an opening, I jumped at the opportunity. Everyone I spoke to, including Coach Wells, said you could not coach a better group of kids, or work with a better group of people. I’m excited to get to know everyone.”

He knows what he is expecting from his War Hawks and made that clear in the first moments of his meeting with the players on Friday afternoon. He stated clearly losing in the first round of the SCISA Class A Playoffs wasn’t acceptable and beginning that moment their goal was to finish at the top. “Our goal is simple - win a state championship,” admitted Gorrell. “With that in mind we are going to try to embrace doing everything - classwork, weight-lifting, conditioning, practice - at a championship level. We want to raise the standard in everything that we do. The goal for all the players is to embrace the process and preparation that comes with doing everything to the best of our ability.”

Gorrell feels that they key to building any football program is continuity. “I have watched every game from last year,” he said. “With only two seniors graduating, we have a great nucleus of contributors coming back. The goal is to put our guys in the best positions to be successful. There will be changes offensively and defensively, but we are going to focus on execution over schemes. We’ve got to get our plan and schemes in place and keep everything consistent for the years to come.”

Interacting and developing relationships and connections, within the school and community, are an important part of the success of Colleton Prep. Gorrell already knows that his role is a key component to that success. “I plan on being around as much as humanly possible,” he admitted. “I’m finishing out my contract in Barnwell, teaching through the spring, but I’ll be around Colleton Prep at least a few days a week. I think it’s extremely important to be involved in the community, from just interacting with parents and school staff, to doing community service as a team. So many people are needed for an entire football program to function, and often times those people are the ones spending time in our arena during the week and on Friday nights. Myself, along with my players, need to spend time in their arenas and give back to a community that has an unbelievable amount of pride in the football program.”

According to Gorrell, you’ll still be seeing some familiar faces on the War Hawk sidelines come fall. “There aren’t words to describe the dedication it takes from guys like Coach Burttram and Coach Ware to selflessly give their time to this football program - it’s truly special,” acknowledged Gorrell. “In addition to those two, we’re in the process of filling the rest of the varsity and middle school staffs. I’ve been busy on the phones, and we’re going to find the guys that want to help our student-athletes be great people above anything else. It’s a big priority to get those guys in place.”

Cindy Crosby (379 Posts)