WHS Welcomes New Head Football Coach

Dustin Curtis

Dustin Curtis

BLYTHEWOOD (March 30, 2016) – After seven years as an assistant coach at A.C. Flora High School, Dustin Curtis will take the reins of the Westwood Redhawks football program beginning this spring, Richland School District 2 announced last week.

Curtis takes over for Rodney Summers, who announced his departure last month for the head coaching position at May River High School in Bluffton.

Curtis worked his way up at Flora from outside linebacker and safety coach in 2009 under Dean Howell to Offensive Coordinator and quarterbacks coach by 2013 under Reggie Shaw. During those years, the Falcons developed into a contender, winning four region titles and playing for two state championships.

Curtis said the Blythewood community and the Westwood facilities, however, lured him away from the Falcons.

“I love Blythewood,” Curtis said. “It’s a great community. The (Westwood) facilities were a very big attraction. The athletic director, Jason Powell, he’s been tremendous.”

Coming to Westwood, Curtis said, presents a different set of challenges than he faced at Flora.

“You walk into a situation (at WHS) where you don’t have to build a winning culture,” Curtis said. “That’s completely different from Flora. When I got there in 2009, it wasn’t a job a lot of people were chomping on the bit to go to.”

Summers, he said, left the program on solid footing. After a 2-8 record in their debut year of 2012, Summers and the Redhawks turned it around in 2013 with a 7-5 showing and a trip to the playoffs. The next season, Westwood went 12-2, and last year turned in a 9-4 performance.

“I would be wrong not to congratulate them on the program they built in just four years,” Curtis said. “We (Flora) played them in 2012 and it wasn’t pretty. The very next year we went to Westwood and they hammered us.”

Under Summers, the Redhawks used a powerful running game to run up three consecutive playoff appearances, and Curtis said it is unlikely that offensive philosophy will change much under his leadership.

“Teams that stop the run and that can run the ball win games,” Curtis said. “I’m not necessarily married to the I-formation we ran at Flora, but my philosophy is not a philosophy that’s very different (than Summers’ Redhawks).”

Curtis is still putting the final pieces of his staff in place, and he said he hopes to have everyone on board by spring practice, slated to begin in early May.

“The biggest challenge is to continue the winning tradition,” Curtis said, “and I say that as excited as I can be. That mentality they’ve built over here, it’s a pressure thing too.”