DHS new coaches

Darlington High School introduced two new head coaches on Thursday, Aug. 1. Joseph Kolodziej will be the head varsity baseball coach, and George Atkins Jr. will be the boys and girls tennis head coach. Pictured are (from left) Michael Jordan, DHS Athletic Director; Atkins; Kolodziej; and Cortney Gehrke, DHS Principal.

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Darlington High School (DHS) introduced new coaches for its baseball and tennis programs on Thursday during a press conference held at the school.

Joseph Kolodziej will be the head coach for the baseball program. George Atkins Jr. will serve as the school’s new head coach for both the boys and girls tennis programs.

Kolodziej previously served as the head junior varsity baseball coach and assistant varsity coach for the Falcons.  He is also a physical education teacher at the school. He is currently the coach for Darlington’s Junior American Legion baseball team. He previously served as head junior varsity baseball coach and, later, head varsity coach at Wilson High School. He also taught a Pate and Brunson-Dargan Elementary schools. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Keene State College and a Master of Science in Education with specializations in Professional Development from Walden University.

Gerhke said Kolodziej works well with the school’s students and has a bright future in the varsity program.

 “Coach Kolodziej has previously served as our junior varsity baseball coach, and his enthusiasm for working with our student-athletes is evident,” she said. “He expects the best, and he holds himself and his players to a high standard both in the classroom and on the field. We are excited to see him transition to varsity, and we know he will do a great job.”  

Atkins is currently an associate pastor of Family Ministries for Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church in Florence. He previously played tennis for Hartsville High School, and is involved with the U.S. Tennis Association in Florence. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and Business Administration from Charleston Southern University. He also holds a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

DHS Principal Cortney Gehrke said the school is excited to have Atkins’ passion for the sport.

“Coach Atkins love for tennis and desire to mentor students through coaching makes him an excellent fit to join the Falcon Family,” Gehrke said. “He is passionate about serving our community, and we are confident his enthusiasm and experience will have a positive impact on our tennis program.”  

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