Thursday, April 3, 2014
Defensive coordinator Joe Marion has been tabbed the new football coach at Stratford High School. The longtime Stratford assistant replaces Ray Stackley, who announced his retirement in February. Stackley led the Knights for 29 seasons and piled up 270 wins and one state championship on Crowfield Boulevard. Stratford also played for two others under the man it named its football field for. Marion has been Stratford's defensive coordinator since Bob Hayes left for Wando in 2000. Before that, he was the Knights' middle linebackers coach going back to 1988. Marion does have some head coaching experience. He had two short stints at now-defunct SCISA schools St. Stephen Academy and Andrews Academy. He coached at St. Stephen for a year and two at Andrews Academy. "I can't say I was ready for Ray to leave because he was great to coach with," Marion said. "I loved coaching with him... We hope to continue taking the program where it's been the last few years." This past season the Knights advanced to the championship game before losing to Northwestern. The defensive unit led by Marion was one of the top groups in the state this past fall. The Knights were 12-3 behind a senior-laden group. Marion was one of four candidates interviewed for the job. Stratford offensive coordinator Dennie McDaniel and Goose Creek High School assistants Chris Candor and Rob D'Amato were the other three. "I wanted to be a head coach again, especially at such a good school," Marion said. Marion joins older brother Bobby in the Lowcountry coaching ranks. Bobby, also a former Stratford assistant, is the head football coach at West Ashley. Bobby is almost 17 months older than Joe.