Nygel Pearson’s playing and coaching roots began in South Carolina.
After a stint working in North Carolina, Pearson is returning to the Palmetto State as the new football coach at Spring Valley High School. Pearson’s hire was approved at Tuesday’s Richland 2 school board meeting.
“Coming back to South Carolina is a big plus,” Pearson said Tuesday night. “It is where played high school and college. And Spring Valley is Spring Valley. I don’t know what else you can say. They have great facilities and going to have good athletes. I am looking forward to being a part of the tradition.”
The 36-year-old Pearson replaces Robin Bacon, who stepped down in November. The Darlington native has been head coach at North Rowan (NC) for the past three years, going 20-12 and making to the third round of the playoffs in two of the three years.
Before taking the North Rowan job, Pearson was a college assistant coach with stops at South Carolina State from 2011-17 and Catawba College from 2017-20. His first coaching job was an assistant at Fairfield Central High School in 2010.
Pearson played college football at S.C. State and was a second team all-MEAC selection as a senior.
Spring Valley athletc director Jeff DiBattisto said the school received about 45 applications for the job but Pearson’s experience on the college and high school level stood out the most.
Pearson said he plans to meet with the team on Thursday and is working on being here full-time before spring practice in May. He said he wiil spend the next several weeks putting a staff together.
Spring Valley went 5-6 this past season and lost in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The hiring of Pearson gives the Midlands three openings – Columbia, Heathwood Hall and Lexington.
This story was originally published February 14, 2023, 7:37 PM.
Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The (Columbia) State and (Hilton Head) Island Packet. He previously worked at the Florence Morning News and had covered high school sports in South Carolina since 2002. Lou is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Support my work with a digital subscription