DILLON, SC (WMBF) - Replacing a legend is never easy, especially one who has achieved as much as Jackie Hayes. Hayes retired in December and now it’s on Kelvin Roller to continue Dillon High School’s dominance on the gridiron as he was named head football coach on Monday.
Roller has served as the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator since the 2011 season, helping Dillon win five state titles during that span. Roller says he had opportunities to be a head coach elsewhere but knew remaining at Dillon was the right move for him.
“I chose to stay at Dillon hoping that this day would probably come one day and I think Dillon is a great place to work at,” said Roller. “It’s hard to leave once you find that comfort level in the community, in the school, and with the kids. It’s a little more difficult. Every place is not like Dillon.”
Though Roller has huge shoes to fill, he says it’s important to be himself during this process.
“With kids, if you try to be anything other than yourself, they read that right away,” Roller added. “I think if you asked our kids about myself they’ll tell you that I’m the type of coach that’s going to get on you when you need to be I’m going to love you up hard when you need to be loved up. I’m going to be myself and I think that’s worked for us over the years.”
Roller is just Dillon’s fourth head football coach since 1969. Prior to arriving at Dillon, he served as the offensive coordinator at Marlboro County High School, his alma mater, for six seasons.