MARION, S.C. -- Randall State has his chance to be a high school football coach.
The former Lake City High School and Liberty University standout now takes the top whistle at Marion. He replaces Quin McCollum, who coached the Swamp Foxes from 2016 through last season. McCollum is now an assistant at Marlboro County.
After Marion moved up last season from Class 2A to 3A, it finished with a 1-7 record.
“We want to get back to Marion football: Power, speed and getting after people,” State said. “That’s what we’re going to be. We’ve also got to have numbers. If we can have that in 3A, then we can be successful.”
State coached Marion’s defensive backs last fall, so he thought that played to his advantage in the job search.
"I was already there, so I had an upbeat on the rest of the candidates," State said. "I was on the staff already, so that was a good thing. I knew the players, and they knew me. And, I was familiar with the program, and the ins and outs of the school."
He was also the Marion girls’ basketball coach this past winter. However, State doesn’t expect to coach on the hardwood next season.
State, who graduated from Lake City in 1998 and then played indoor or semi-pro football for 10 years after graduating from Liberty in 2003, also had experience coaching in college. From 2011 through ’13, he was an assistant coach at Missouri Southern State. There, one of the players he coached was Brandon Williams, a nose tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.
“While at Missouri Southern State, I got to recruit and did some things that benefited me and prepared me for this moment,” State said. “I learned how to be the whole football coach.”
Now that State is approaching his first job as football coach for a high school, he can hardly contain his excitement.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” State said. “I’ve fallen in love with coaching, and I wanted to learn as much as much as I could about the game before I felt I was ready.
“Now, I think I’m ready.”