By Thomas Grant Jr.
For the first time in Gray Collegiate Academy history, it will have a new football and athletics director.
Adam Holmes announced his resignation Friday via Facebook. He had served both positions since the school’s inception in 2014 and overseen a program which has won numerous team state titles in football, basketball, competitive cheer, and softball.
“It is time for me now to focus on my family and myself, and see where this journey leads me professionally,” Holmes said in a join statement with principal Brian Newsome on Facebook. “There is interest out there in football and outside of football.
“When I knew I wanted to possibly venture outside of working at Gray, I spoke with Dr. Newsome and we both thought it was best to go ahead and step away so Gray can move on with the process of finding someone.”
Holmes was 76-35 in eight seasons at Gray Collegiate Academy. The War Eagles won six straight region titles and played for two Class 2A titles, winning in 2021.
This past season, they fell 35-28 to fellow charter school Oceanside Collegiate Academy in the state final played at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. Ironically, Holmes also lost his final game as Orangeburg Prep head football coach in the Garden City in 2013 against Hammond School in the SCISA Class 3A Lower State final.
This season saw Gray Collegiate dealing with the fallout from fellow region schools opting to forfeit their games to protest what they believe was a “competitive advantage” enjoyed by the West Columbia charter school.
The War Eagles managed to replace those games with out-of-state opponents like IMG Academy. The controversy resulted in the South Carolina High School League enacting an out of zone multiplier formula to count the student populations for charter schools like Gray Collegiate, Oceanside, American Life Academy and Bishop England during the realignment process.
The multiplier took each student who lived outside a school’s assigned attendance zone and counted them as three for total enrollment purposes. The end result has Gray Collegiate positioned to move up to Class 4A over the next two years.
“As I reflect on the many successes at Gray over the past year, my mental, physical, and emotional health has suffered greatly,” Holmes said. “Over this break, I have had time to sit back and reflect on my 10-year journey here at Gray. I have put my heart and soul into this school to help make this athletic program what it is today.
“There have been many long hours and days over these ten years and now I think it’s time for me to step away as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.”
No word as to whether Gray Collegiate will appeal the realignment decision in January. For now, Newsome announced defensive coordinator Howie Bayer as interim head football coach and he, Kevin Heise (boys soccer) and Dion Bethea (boys basketball) will share in the athletics director duties until further notice.
Former War Eagles
hit the transfer portal
Former Gray Collegiate record-setting running back K.Z. Adams has found a new college home.
After two seasons at Georgia State, the former “Mr. South Carolina Football” finalist is transferring to South Carolina State University.
The first high school running back in South Carolina history to rush for over 3,000 yards in a season, Adams gained only 66 yards in 10 games with the Panthers.
He joins a Bulldog team now coached by Chennis Berry, formerly of Benedict College. He replaced longtime legendary head coach Buddy Pough who retired after 23 seasons.
Adams is not the only former War Eagle looking for a new home. Former quarterback Hunter Helms announced on Instagram Nov. 28 his intentions to hit the transfer portal after four years at Clemson University.
The former competed in nine games and completed 22 of 37 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns. He earned the number two position at quarterback this season, but saw little action.