Wando coach retiring after 20 years

Wando coach Harold Fallis has announced his retirement at the conclusion of this season.

"I have coached cross country and track at Wando 20-straight years," said Fallis. "A few years ago I felt overwhelmed and gave up the head track job to concentrate my efforts on cross country and the distance program during track season."

Fallis, who has been teaching 31 years, said he will continue to teach next year.

"It was about that time my extreme hypertension caught up with me and I had a heart procedure done," he said. "My goal has always been to develop a top distance running program at Wando and I felt things were moving forward."

Fallis, explaining how coaching can be 'very emotionally demanding and time consuming,' said he started to have issues with his heart again after the 2008 cross country season.

"Although my heart is still with the program I have come to realize that I need more time now...I need to spend more time with my wife," he said. "Time to see my son race with The Citadel and (he) only has two years left. Time to help my aging parents. I just realized it was 'time' to step aside. The program has come a long way in 20 years.

"Coach Fallis has had a great influence in my running and in my life," said Wando senior Eric Powers.  "He has taught me and my teammates how to train hard and work together.  He has led us to State Championships in both track and cross country!  Coach Fallis is truly devoted to the sport of running.  He comes to practice every day as excited about running as we are.  He has also taught us about life and how to be men.

"I have been surrounded with good people and some great athletes," Fallis concluded. "As coaches know, 'good athletes make coaches look good!' It is with bittersweet emotions that I make this decision but I know it is time. But heck, it sure beats having someone show you the door!"

"I just hope that new coaches that come will certainly seek advice of legends like Harold," said South Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Association President Daniel Brooks. "There's no substitution for experience."

"Coach Fallis has touched many lives through his coaching, and he leaves Wando and the state of South Carolina with an incredible legacy," Power concluded.