West Florence (S.C.) High School boys’ basketball coach Daryl Jarvis learned more than just the X’s and O’s of coaching while pursuing his master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy.
Jarvis holds a Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy. He led the West Florence boys to their first region title since 1992 in his first season there after being hired by the school in May 2018.
“The Academy gave me insight into all of the administrative parts of the job,” Jarvis said. “Sports management and coaching are about more than just the X’s and O’s and jimmies and joes. From facilities, to money management/budgeting within the program, marketing, the laws that need to be followed in certain situations, liability and so many other things that some people may not think of. Even learning how to understand the people in your building and being able to connect with your administration. The Academy really prepared me to think about paying attention to the details. In our profession accountability and liability play a huge role in what we do and the longevity of our careers.
“I like that each class at the Academy gives you real world examples and work that you have either faced or will face once you are in your career. We even talked about how to get fans in the stands at different events, fundraising, building and floor design. There is a plethora of administrative duties that you’d never think of otherwise.”
Before being hired at West Florence, Jarvis served as basketball coach for C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia, S.C., from 2011-16 with a 62-51 record. Jarvis guided C.A. Johnson’s program to its first state title in 25 years in 2014.
“If you want to be a coach, manager, strength coach or whatever you want to do in sports, the Academy has everything tailored for you and your path,” Jarvis said. “The professors are great and everyone communicates effectively and in a timely matter. It was one of the best decisions I could have made for my career and I know I’m prepared for anything that comes my way. You get a lot of ins and outs of the profession of sports that you wouldn’t get at a traditional master’s degree program.”
In addition to his coaching duties, Jarvis teaches physical education and academic enrichment at West Florence.
“I like what I do because it gives me the chance to not only be a coach, but to also be a teacher and a mentor,” he said. “Being able to get student athletes to reach potential they didn’t know they had is a great feeling. I want our kids to be better spouses, children, siblings, and people and I want them to get everything they can out of life.
“I am responsible for game scheduling for the boys’ and girls’ teams, practice schedules for both boys and girls, character development, life skills assessment, adversity management, classroom discipline and focus, and finally to teach the game of basketball in a way that all student athletes can be successful,” he continued. “I’m also responsible for safety management of the players from transportation, lodging, and making sure our facilities are up to par and clean.
“I also communicate with the teachers and guidance counselors to make sure our athletes are on course to graduate and be ready for the real world. Some of them won’t get athletic scholarships but most go to college or are prepared for a trade school of their choice if not even the military.”
Jarvis is familiar with the military, having served from 2000-2006 in the Army Reserves as an automated logistical specialist making sure that vehicles functioned properly before they were shipped overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said his Army experience led to his desire to coach.
“The Army Reserves gave me a sense of purpose and direction because I didn’t always know that I wanted to coach,” he said. “I realized that being a leader in the military is almost like being a leader through coaching. You have to give respect to get respect but you must first be competent in your area so that people will follow you. The structure of the discipline, selfless service, camaraderie, all of it plays a big part for a total successful group effort.
“I try to explain to my team that finding a role you’re good at or accepting a role a coach gives you makes a big impact on our outcome. So accept it, be great at it and do it for the good of the group. The little things often make up the big picture.”
Jarvis is affiliated with the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association, the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association, and the South Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Jarvis earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of South Carolina in 2004.