Updates with comments from Brian Halsey, 8:31 p.m.
Brian Halsey is returning to coach Charleston High football a decade after having guided the team to a Final Four appearance.
The Charleston School Board approved the recommendation to hire Halsey, along with several other teachers and coaches, by a unanimous vote.
“CHS is very excited for the direction the football program will be heading under new head coach Brian Halsey,” said Charleston High athletic director Derrick Zerrusen. “The wealth of experience that Coach Halsey brings, as well as his ability to build relationships with students, will have an undoubtedly huge impact on a program that the community has high expectations for in the upcoming season.”
He replaces Jerry Payne, who resigned a few weeks ago after his team had won its final four games last season to finish at 4-5 and 13-20 across four seasons. Payne inherited a program that had won only five games during the previous six seasons. His 2021 spring team went 4-2 – the only winning season at CHS since 2012.
“I think the program is on the edge of making a run at the playoffs,” Payne told us a few weeks ago. “I just hope whoever takes over will be able to push them to the next level. Working with players who give their all. Being on the field either at practice or during games along with the other coaches. I will miss the time I spent with my staff. They were a great group of men, for sure.”
The Charleston School Board also approved the hiring of new head volleyball coach Hannah Wolfe, who has been a school counselor at CHS.
Halsey’s teams went 75-75 between 2000-14, winning the Apollo Conference title five times – 2002-04, 2011, 2012 – and qualifying seven times for the state playoffs – 2002-05, 2007, 2011 and 2012.
In the postseason, his teams posted an 8-7 mark, reaching the Final Four in 2011 before losing 41-13 to eventual state champion Rochester. After going 8-1 the following season, CHS again lost to Rochester, this time in the second round of the playoffs by 42-14. Rochester repeated as state champs.
“I’m blessed to get the opportunity again,” Halsey said Wednesday night. “I love Trojan football and have dedicated more than half of my life to it as a player, assistant coach, and head coach. I can’t wait to start working with the kids and building relationships. I want nothing more than to help these kids have success and add to our six previous conference championships and seven playoff appearances. I truly want kids to enjoy their high school experience as students and athletes. I’m so thankful for all the love and support. I’m so excited and can’t wait.”
In addition, the 2007 team reached the Elite Eight after a 5-4 regular season mark.
Halsey, who served as an assistant football coach at Newton for several years, did not coach this past season.
Halsey has continued to work as a social studies teacher at CHS.
Halsey’s CHS record by year