NORTH AUGUSTA — North Augusta High School is moving forward to find its next head football coach and athletic director.

John Murphy, the school's principal, said the process will begin right away with notifying the Aiken County School District that there is a vacancy. The opening will be advertised by the district for “a couple of weeks” and conclude with North Augusta requesting applicants from the district. From there, the school will begin interviewing candidates.

Murphy said the school will form a selection committee to help find the right candidate.

“The committee will be formed of members of the community, parents, someone from the School Improvement Council, a faculty member and perhaps someone from the booster club,” he said. “Then we will go through the process. You want to have all of your various interest groups accounted for on a hiring of this magnitude.”

Because of the way that the District pays employees, Murphy said having both the athletic director and head football coach openings at the same time is “not a hurdle, but a positive.”

“Since we pay employees in supplements, having someone we can hire for both jobs can hopefully attract a better candidate with the extra money,” he said.

Murphy also said that “everyone will be given due consideration if they apply.” This includes coaches from within the school as well as external applicants. He also stated that there was no timetable on when the new coach would be in place.

“I'm going to be committed to finding the right person for our vacancy,” he said. “If that takes three weeks, six weeks or nine weeks; whatever the case, as soon as we find the right person there will be an announcement.”

Once the school decides on its recommendation it will be brought before the School Board and the hiring will be made official.

As far as the current coach is concerned, Murphy said Dan Pippin's contract currently reads that it “has him here until the end of the current school year.”

“I plan on him honoring his contract through the end of the school year,” Murphy said.

Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star.