LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) - With the tip-off of Tuesday’s season opener between North Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest, history was made in Horry County.
Darcie Vincent, the Chiefs' first-year leader, is the first woman to coach a men’s revenue-generating sport - football or basketball - in Horry County history.
“If I can open the door for the next female to be able to coach on the boys side, I’ve got to keep the standards high and do everything the right way,” Vincent said in an empty gymnasium, hours before her debut.
Vincent coached the Appalachian State women’s basketball team for six seasons, winning 117 games and earning two regular season titles in 2011 and 2012.
"The pressure? You feel it automatically,” Vincent said. “You’re still in a society where you feel like you have to prove yourself 90 percent of the time.”
Vincent has coached at the Division II level as well, leading the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans to three Elite Eight appearances and two Final Four showings, ultimately winning the 2004 NCAA Division II National Championship.
As an assistant at Slippery Rock in Pennsylvania, Vincent helped the Lions win their only regional championship in 2000.
“I’m not going to spill out a resume. Talk to my boys in a year. See how it is, see how the instruction is, see how the treatment is," Vincent said. “If [after a year] it’s a true statement, that this is a man’s job then I’ll step away gracefully. But I will do everything in my power that that’s not the case.”
“The bottom line when it comes to our coaches is are we bringing in someone that’s best for our athletes,” said North Myrtle Beach Athletic Director Joe Quigley. “It’s hard to stay up with her. She bring so much excitement and passion for the game, but also for our kids.”
Beginning this season, Vincent requires her players to complete 50 hours of community service before they step on the court.
“It’s not just about basketball,” Quigley said. “It’s about what type of young man do you want to be. And we’re here to develop you into the type of man you want to be.”
Vincent replaces Alvin Green, who mutually parted ways with the school in August. Green went 16-23 in his two years at the helm.
“She’s everything we’re looking for right now,” Quigley said.