Posted: 5:30 pm Friday, January 20th, 2012

Football: King’s Academy hires Heath Nivens to be head coach 

By Matt Porter

King’s Academy has made Heath Nivens, formerly of Jacksonville-University Christian, its new head football coach.

Nivens

Nivens

Nivens takes over for Craig Dobson, who stepped down in November due to health concerns. Nivens will lead spring football practices and begin working full-time at King’s in June.

Dobson was 47-18 in his six seasons at King’s Academy, coaching the Lions to four playoff berths.

“The transition in coaches can be challenging, especially when you have a great coach in Coach Dobson leading your program,” King’s Athletic Director Adam Winters said. “Heath is a strong leader and I believe that he possesses the experience, enthusiasm, and drive to build on The King’s Academy football program.”

Nivens, an offensive-minded coach who will likely use the spread, went 34-16 in five years at University Christian. He was previously head coach at Ben Lippen School in Columbia, S.C. from 2003-07. His teams have gone to the playoffs in six of his nine years as a head coach.

He was also an assistant coach (running backs, kicking game) at West Texas A&M from 2001-02.

Nivens got into coaching directly after playing for Lou Holtz at South Carolina. He was a walk-on offensive tackle for the Gamecocks, who defeated Ohio State in the Outback Bowl and were ranked 19th in the country during his senior season, 2000.

Nivens is a native of Irmo, S.C. He and his wife, Kristin, have been married for seven years and have one child, Cullen (2).

At 33, he becomes one of the area’s youngest head coaches, behind Fort Pierce Central’s Josh Shaffer (26), Village Academy’s Don Hanna (27) and Santaluces’ Daryl Drinkwater (28) and Forest Hill’s Chris Kokell (32).

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