Thursday, February 20, 2014
A Lowcountry coaching legend is leaving the sideline and heading off into retirement. Stratford football coach Ray Stackley's wife Lane Stackley confirmed by phone call that her husband was retiring at the end of the school year. She also mentioned that he would talk to the press later and that he told his assistant coaches Thursday afternoon. Stackley, 63, was head coach of the Knights since 1985 and won 270 career games as the coach on Crowfield Boulevard. Most recently, he guided SHS to the Class AAAA Div. II championship game this season. The Knights finished 12-3 and lost to Northwestern 62-35 in the finale. Stackley and the Knights had one state title to their credit, 1999, and they played for two others, including this past season. The other title appearance came in 2004 when they lost to Rock Hill. His teams won nearly 20 region championships. The 1999 season was the crown jewel in a decade of dominance from 1997-2006. Stackley's teams were 118-18 during the stretch and finished nationallly ranked in 1999. Another career highlight includes guiding an underdog Shrine Bowl team to a 23-19 victory in the annual battle of the Carolinas all-star teams in 2012. He was a Shrine Bowl assistant when the Sandlappers set the scoring record in a game several years earlier. Also, at the annual Berkeley County School District scholarship signing ceremony earlier this month, he pointed out the Knights have gotten over 160 football players to the college level. Stackley served as athletics director for the school too.