After seven extremely successful seasons as the head coach of the football team and athletic director at Williston-Elko High School, Dwayne Garrick is leaving.

When reached for comment Wednesday, Garrick confirmed reports he’s leaving the Class A school that he has turned into a football powerhouse and led to a state championship. He’ll be going to a much larger program, the recently-created River Bluff High School.

At the Lexington-area school, Garrick will serve as assistant athletic director and work as a coordinator on the coaching staff of head football coach and athletic director David Bennett. Before coming to River Bluff, which will join Class AAAA as a full-fleged member in the fall of 2014, Bennett was the head coach at Coastal Carolina. Garrick said he and Bennett are longtime friends, which played a significant factor in his decision to leave Williston-Elko.

Garrick’s name has been linked to several high-profile head coaching and coordinator openings in the past few years. He was speculated to a be a candidate for coaching jobs at Aiken and North Augusta among others.

Garrick has been involved in several rumors because of the success he’s had at Williston-Elko. In seven seasons with the Blue Devils, Garrick’s teams have posted a 72-18 overall record, an .800 winning percentage. They have won five consecutive Region 4-A championships and are currently on a 35-game winning streak against conference opponents. From 2008-2010, the Blue Devils played in the state championship game each year, winning it all in 2009.

This past season, Garrick guided the Blue Devils to a 9-3 record and the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to eventual state champions Christ Church. Garrick has also done a good job of sending his players to the college ranks, most recently offensive lineman Taylor Hearn to Clemson.

Garrick previously served as the head coach at Williston-Elko rival Barnwell High School. From 1999-2001 Garrick posted a 27-10 record at Barnwell and has a 99-28 overall record as a head coach.

Noah Feit is the sports editor for the Aiken Standard and has been a professional journalist for more than 14 years after graduating from Syracuse University.