Miller

Miller Out, Hodge In

Chris Miller will be stepping down as Head Football Coach at Spartanburg.

Cole Bryson
January 15, 2020 - 12:27 pm
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The five-time State Champion Chris Miller is no longer the Head Coach of the Vikings. Spartanburg & Chris Miller have parted ways. Miller just completed his 18th season as Head Coach at Spartanburg High School where the Vikings finished the 2019 season with a 3-7 record. 

Spartanburg took very little time finding a replacement for Miller as they have named Mark Hodge their Head Football Coach. Hodge is no new face to the Upstate in regards to High School Football. Mark Hodge led Chapman to their most recent State Championship, defeating Dillon 44-14 just thirty-nine days ago. 

A press release was sent out by Spartanburg High School at 12:15pm on Wednesday:

 

 

(SPARTANBURG, S.C.) – Spartanburg School Districts Seven and One announce the transition in

leadership of the varsity football programs at Spartanburg High School and Chapman High School.

Spartanburg Head Coach and recent Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Miller, has announced that he

will be stepping down following a successful career at Spartanburg High School. Chapman Head

Coach Mark Hodge has been tapped as the next head coach for the Vikings.

Coach Miller returned to Spartanburg High School in 2013 after previously leading programs at

Broome and Byrnes. He has achieved 166 career victories, won five state championships and

seven region championships, served as head coach for the North South game in 2019, and

coached in the Shrine Bowl in 2018. He has been named Coach of the Year more than a dozen

times and was inducted into the South Carolina Football Coaches Hall of Fame in December.

“Over the last seven years, Spartanburg High School has become home for Gina and me. Helping

these young men grow as players and as individuals has been one of my life’s greatest joys,” said

Miller. “This is the right time for me to step away from this program and I am excited about what

the future holds. I have seen great potential in Mark since I first coached him at Broome, and I

take great pride in this transition. I cannot imagine handing off the Viking program to a better

candidate.”

Coach Hodge has led the Chapman Panthers since 2012, where over the last four years he has

guided the team to a 53-5 record, winning three Upper State Titles and two State Titles in the

process. A 1998 graduate of USC Upstate, Hodge began his coaching career at his alma mater,

Broome High School, before serving as the defensive coordinator at Spartanburg High School

from 2006-2009. He was head varsity coach at Carolina High School from 2009-2011, where he

led the Trojans to their first 8-win season in 25 years and was named Greenville County Coach of

the Year.

“The legacy of Spartanburg High School’s football program is tremendous and I am deeply

honored to join this team. It is exciting to return to this program as head coach, and I look

forward to building on Coach Miller’s accomplishments as we chart the next chapter for the

Vikings,” Hodge said, adding, “It is also a very emotional decision. My kids are at Chapman, my

spouse is here, and I have been supported in every way by this community. I feel like God is

leading my family to the next thing, and it is humbling to know I’m fully supported by all the

people at Chapman.”

Viking Athletic Director Todd Staley believes this hand-off is a tribute to both coaches and their

respective programs. “Spartanburg High School Athletics is forever grateful for the guidance

and leadership Coach Miller provided to our program over the last seven years. His success on

the football field speaks for itself but his influence on our student-athletes will be evidenced in

their lives as they grow to be productive citizens, husbands and fathers in the future. For this,

we cannot thank him enough." Staley continued, “Likewise, our program is built in a rich

tradition that Mark understands – it is a storied program that I am confident Mark will continue

while also instituting a comprehensive approach to the development of our student athletes.”

SHS Principal Vance Jones echoed Staley’s appreciation for Miller and excitement to welcome

Hodge. “During Chris’ tenure, he built a spirit of excellence and instilled this into our players.

Winning that state championship in 2014 followed by a region championship set our program

back on an upward trajectory. We will be forever indebted to Chris and he will always have a

home at SHS.”

As the Chapman community celebrates this bittersweet departure for their beloved coach,

Athletic Director Greg Wilson praised Hodge’s leadership of the Panthers. “I am very thankful

for the past eight years and all of the amazing things that have been accomplished under Coach

Hodge’s leadership. He has built a tremendous foundation for our football program and

positively influenced so many in the process. I am excited to support him in this next challenge

of his coaching career and to observe how God will continue to use Mark to glorify Him.”

His sentiments were echoed by Chapman Principal Dr. Andrew McMillan. “Coach Hodge has

built a tremendously successful football program, all while emphasizing his player's personal

development to be better men of character and integrity. Although I am sad to see him leave, I

wish Coach Hodge, his wife Dana, and their three children – Caleb, Joshua, and Ruthie – the

best of luck moving forward.”

Chapman High School will begin the search for their next head football coach immediately and

looks forward to securing a coach with the same level of integrity, character, and vision to

continue the excellence of the Panther football team.

 

 

 

 

Chris Miller has applied at Easley High School, but no official decisions have been made at this time. Follow @TheColeBryson on Twitter for more updates as information is released. 

 

More on Chris Miller's Accomplishments: 

At Spartanburg, he compiled a 53-35 record and a state championship (4A Div. II in 2014).   Previously he was the head coach at Byrnes High School, where he compiled a 79-10 record, won four state titles (2007-08, 2010-11), finished as state runner-up in 2009 and won three Region II-4A championships (2007, ’09, ’11) with the Rebels.  

Miller’s first head coaching post was at Broome High School from 1992-97, winning three region championships (1993-95).  Throughout his career, he has obtained a 169 – 77 record, five state championships, seven region championships, and a 21-8 playoff record.  Though he has been honored with a plethora of coaching awards in his career, perhaps three of the most notable are his nods to serve as a coach in the North-South Game (2011) & Shrine Bowl (2018), and most recently, head coach of the North-South Game (2019). Only head coach to lead a team to five straight appearances in the Div. 1 4-A State Championship game (’07-’11)

1993 Herald Journal Coach of the Year

2007 SHJ Coach of the Year

2007 Region II Coach of the Year

2007 HSSR Region II Coach of the Year

2007 HSSR State Wide Coach of the Year

2008 HSSR Div. 1 4-AAAA Coach of the Year

2008 Schutt Southeast Region Coach of the Year

2009 Region 2 4-AAAA Coach of the Year                                            

2009 USA Under Armor All-American Bowl Honorary Coaches Award

2010 HSSR Div. 1 4-AAAA Coach of the Year

2010 SHJ All-Area Coach of the Year

2011 HSSR Div. 1 4-AAA Coach of the Year

2011 Region II 4-AAAA Coach of the Year

2011 North-South All Star Game Defensive Coordinator

2014 HSSR AAAA Div. II Coach of the Year 

2015 Region II 4-AAAA Coach of the Year

2019 North-South All Star Game Head Coach

SCACA Football Hall of Fame

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