Following a historically successful 17-year tenure, Head Football Coach Erik Kimrey has returned to his alma mater to serve as tight ends coach for the University of South Carolina. While at Hammond, Erik set a new pace and tempo for the Skyhawks, developing a high culture of expectation and establishing a nearly two-decades-long era of winning.
Erik arrived on campus as a young 24-year-old who set out to make a difference in the lives of his student-athletes. A self-proclaimed philosopher, he instilled in his students a strong work ethic and a winning ethos. In addition to winning 12 state titles in his 17-year coaching career, he is the youngest high school football coach to win 100 games and to also win six state championship titles in a row–a feat never before accomplished by a South Carolina football coach–in either an independent or public school sports arenas.
A familiar face to the Skyhawk Nation, Jon Wheeler has been named head football coach and plans to join the Hammond family this spring. He previously served on Hammond’s coaching staff for the 2009, 2010, and 2015 state championship teams. He was integral in helping define and build the existing culture of expectation of personal accountability for our athletes, both on the field and in the classroom. Jon is committed to continuing a tradition of winning, and one who supports the student-athlete both on and off the field.
A 2005 graduate of Wofford College, Jon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and was a four-year football letter winner under Coach Mike Ayers. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Coach Steve Spurrier at the University of South Carolina, working on the defensive staff with now Coach Shane Beamer. After earning his master's degree at the University of South Carolina, Jon joined the coaching staff at North Greenville College, later returning to Hammond where he served as defensive coordinator for the 2009 and 2010 state championship teams. After a four-year stint as head football coach at Heathwood, he rejoined Hammond’s coaching staff as the defensive backs coach and assistant head coach for the 2015 state championship team.
Following a call from his alma mater, Jon coached Wofford’s linebackers and was named special teams coordinator under Coach Mike Ayers. After Coach Ayers’ retirement, Jon was offered the head coaching position at St Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. As head coach, he led the team to the best two back-to-back seasons in school history with a record of 15-2.
In welcoming Jon back to the Skyhawk Nation, Head of School Chris Angel noted, "He is attuned to our school community, appreciates the importance we place on academics, and understands the value of athletics in helping build well-rounded young people. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of his caliber lead our football team."
While the Erik Kimrey era will never "fade" from memory, we are excited to usher in the Jon Wheeler era of Hammond football.