CHESTER -- Chester High School is in the market for a head football coach.
Coach Maurice Flowers, who previously coached at Olympic and West Charlotte, met with his returning players this week and informed them he is stepping down after replacing Victor Floyd two years ago.
The Cyclones were 21-6 under Flowers, who came to Chester from Charlotte.
His first team won the Region 4-AAA championship and lost to Myrtle Beach in the Class AAA state championship game.
"I've been bouncing around the idea of getting out of coaching long enough to get my master's degree,'' Flowers said. "I've taken a class here and a class there, but to get it done I need to go to school in the fall and work on it until I'm done.''
Flowers said Chester assistant Anthony Sterling, who has been at his side most of his coaching career, was named interim coach. Sterling led the Cyclones through their spring game Friday night.
Getting back into coaching right away is not an option, Flowers said, but added anything could happen. He would only take an assistant job if it were working for a "great'' coach.
Flowers played college football at Charlotte's Johnson C. Smith, where he was a record-setting quarterback. He runs a summer quarterbacks camp there and said being away from coaching will allow him to put more into teaching and developing young players.
"I had two offers for high school head coaching jobs, one in South Carolina and the other in North Carolina, and I had another offer for offensive coordinator at a college,'' he said. "But at this point, my focus is on running my camp and earning my masters.
"This is something I'm doing for my family. With my teaching degree and my master's, I'll be better able to better provide for them. Leaving was hard, but the team is in good shape and will do well next year.''
Flowers leaves behind a wealth of talent. Rising senior quarterback Tony McNeal has committed to Clemson and rising senior running back/defensive back Julius Pendergrass has several offers from Division I schools, including Kentucky.
-- Barry Byers, Rock Hill Herald