The secret of who will take over the basketball programs at Myrtle is no more, as the school introduced Cliff Orman as the boys’ and girls’ head coach on Tuesday.
Orman has spent the last eight seasons as the girls’ coach at Pine Grove, leading the Lady Panthers to two Division 1-1A titles. The Hickory Flat native also spent one year at Weir, and is ready to begin work at Myrtle.
“It’s been eight years since I’ve coached boys’ basketball, but still something that I thought would be good to go back to should the opportunity come up,” Orman said. “Myrtle and their traditions are great, and the girls’ job is something I wasn’t expecting, but again, there’s the tradition there, and it’s going to be a challenge. I’m ready to get started and get some excitement and a little more fire here, and in the division we play in, you have to have that.”
Orman takes over for both Jonathan Ashley and Chris Greer, who have built success over their years in the sport. Ashley will move to Ingomar after this school year, while Greer stepped down from his position and will focus on cross country and track. Orman is preparing now to take over two young squads next season.
“The girls have lost a load, but I’m excited about the rebuilding stage, and this school has some great athletes. I think with work, you can still compete in this division,” he said. “If the girls and boys both buy in, I know we’ll have some talented players that will keep us competitive. Hopefully we’ll continue to compete for a division title like they’ve done in the past.”
Having always respected Myrtle’s success in basketball, Orman wants to continue the winning tradition and is excited to join Union County.
“Whenever I was playing at Hickory Flat, Myrtle won state my senior year in 1997, so I knew for the four years I played that this was a very well-respected, dominant program for that span,” he said. “Getting into coaching and seeing Myrtle still there, competing year in and year out, and hearing about the Union County Tournament, there are some fierce rivalries. The atmosphere is a little different, and I’m excited to put the work in, because I know this will be a challenge.”
Orman, along with baseball and slow pitch softball coach Robert Gordon, will be the co-athletic directors for the school, beginning in the fall,. Hired as Orman’s boys’ assistant is J.C. Hales, who will also coach the junior high boys’ and girls’ teams, and returning as the Lady Hawks’ assistant will be Bre Anna Heard.