CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Most Friday nights in the fall, you can see a large portion of the Conway community taking in a high school football game.
Football on Friday nights has been a mainstay in the south for decades. And in the early 80s, the hundred yards of football green at Conway High was turned over to a former graduate and rising coaching star, who still loves every minute of it.
Fresh out of college, Chuck Jordan joined the coaching ranks as an assistant with Presbyterian. Yet the career he considers his calling, quickly called him home.
"I probably wouldn't have left the collegiate environment for many jobs," admits head football coach for Conway High, Chuck Jordan.
But in 1983, he got the chance to take over as head coach of the Conway Tigers. He hasn't left his post since, and has given any skeptics reason to quiet down.
"When I got here ten years ago, I heard that he was first known as 'Ground Chuck'. But now he's Air Jordan," laughs Conway High's Strength and Conditioning Coach Stephen Burris.
Currently, Coach Jordan is 11th all-time in the state for victories, and has compiled 24 winning seasons with the Tigers. However, all the on-field success is something he'd rather not call attention to right away.
"You use words like 'legend', and I'm actually very uncomfortable with that," admits Coach Jordan.
Because for Jordan, coaching goes well beyond wins and losses.
"I always want to make sure I kind of help my kids grow toward being a man," Coach Jordan smiles.
It is that mentality that has overtaken his staff, too.
Coach Burris points out that, "Anytime you get a chance to lead individuals, it's a special opportunity. And it's one we don't take lightly here, and it all goes back to Coach Jordan."
Conway's coach has no plans to hang up the whistle any time soon, either. While his win tally will continue to rise, his focus remains on bigger things.
"I've never wanted my wins and losses to define me. I always wanted to be defined by what kind of person I was. I never really questioned that. To have a job that you enjoyed to do, but is difficult, but you enjoy it and feel called to do is a tremendous blessing," the coach agrees.
The quest for a 25th winning season resumes next week, when the Tigers begin region play against West Florence.