Gray Collegiate introduces new head coaches

By Thomas Grant, Jr.

For the second time this year, Gray Collegiate has replaced a founding head coach.

After leading the boys basketball program to six Class 2A titles in eight years, including the last three in a row, Dion Bethea announced his resignation. In a Twitter post, he thanked school officials and was seeking “to advance and invest in myself” with a new opportunity.

“We appreciate Dion for his time and dedication to Gray Collegiate Academy, both as a staff member and head basketball coach,” Gray Collegiate principal Brian Newsome said in a release. “He has built this program into a national powerhouse, and we wish him nothing but the best. The status of this program is elite, and that credit goes to Dion and his amazing assistant coaches and players.

On Monday, Georgia Southern made it official in announcing Bethea’s appointment to the men’s basketball coaching staff.

“I’m very excited to join the Georgia Southern staff,” Bethea said. “Coach (Charlie) Henry has been amazing throughout this process and this is an excellent opportunity. Coaching in college has always been my dream, and I look forward to learning a lot while trusting the process.”

On the same day, Gray Collegiate introduced former Wilson boys basketball coach Carlos Powell as Bethea’s successor.

A former University of South Carolina teammate of Lady War Eagles’ head coach Brandon Wallace, Powell posted a 74-20 record in four seasons with the Tigers, including the Class 4A title in 2022.

“Gray is the top program in the state,” Powell said “They play on a national scale and the competition they are playing. The opportunity just presented itself and I am thankful for it.”

Gray Collegiate is moving up to Class 4A next school year.

The school also introduced Monday its new girls golf coach Kathryn Cook. A graduate of Brookland-Cayce High School, she was the first female athlete to receive a golf scholarship from the school to attend Newberry College and helped establish a golf program at Pelion High School.

“Kathryn has been a head golf coach before, and brings a winning attitude and tradition to our new program here at Gray,” Newsome said. “Anytime you add a sport at a school, you want a coach who has been there before, and Kathryn has that experience. She also has experience playing golf on the collegiate level, so our girls will gain that valuable experience as well. We are excited to have Kathryn leading our girls’ golf program at Gray.”


The Gray Collegiate softball team’s run on playoff dominance has it closing in on a second state title appearance in three years.

After outscoring District opponents 44-4 in three games, the Lady War Eagles posted two more double-digit victories to open the Upper State playoffs. They defeated Strom Thurmond 11-1 in five innings as Peyton Hendrix went 2-3 with four RBI, Aspen Boulware went 2-3 with two RBI and a home run, Kaley Anderson went 2-3 with two RBI and Na’Veah Matthews went 3-4.

On Monday, Gray Collegiate beat Saluda 12-1 in six innings. The Lady Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the aTop 1st, only for Gray Collegiate to answer with 12 unanswered runs led by Kaitlyn Boudreau with three RBI and Maddox Long went 3-4 with two RBI and a home run and struck out 11 batters.

Strom Thurmond played host to Saluda Wednesday in an elimination game.

On the same day, the Gray Collegiate baseball team played host to Strom Thurmond in a Class 2A Upper State elimination game. The War Eagles dropped their first postseason game 14-0 to Mid-Carolina in the winner’s bracket game.

Gray Collegiate opened the Upper State with a 2-0 win over Fox Creek as All-State selection Blaine Redmond struck out seven in seven innings.

Matthew Hornsby was also named to the S.C. Baseball Coaches Association’s All-State team in Class 2A. Other local selections were Beau Hollins (River Bluff) in Class 5A, Miller Harrelson and Cam Atkins (both of Airport) in Class 4A and Scott Hardy and Brunson Price (both of Gilbert) in Class 3A.

All-State Softball selections

CLASS 5A: Ella Majchrzak & Andee Dircks (both of Chapin) Allie Boone (Dutch Fork) and Livi Warren (Lexington)

CLASS 4A: Precious Bross (Irmo)

CLASS 3A: Ainsley Minchew and Carley Melton (both of Gilbert) and Mackenzie Sease (Swansea)

CLASS 2A: Aspen Boulware and Maddox Long (both of Gray Collegiate), Symari Bowers (Mid-Carolina) and Samantha Padgett (Pelion)

Photo by Kevin Heise – Gray Collegiate athletics director Kevin Heise, principal Brian Newsome, golf coach Kathryn Cook and Carlos Powell.