Derek Howard figured he was going to get a head coaching job,. He just didn't know it would come in late July.

On July 20, the former Ridge View offensive coordinator was named the new head coach at Wilson High School in Florence.

Three weeks later, Howard is in the middle of preseason camp. Wednesday night, Howard brought his Tigers back to the Midlands for a scrimmage with Airport.

He literally has hit the ground sprinting in his new job, but he says everyone has bought in to his system.

'I think I'm on day 12, day 13," Howard said.

"But I'm enjoying every part of it. The Florence community has really welcomed me. I'm really excited about this year. The kids are working really hard."

Howard says getting the new assignment with just a tad more than a week before the start of preseason practice was something he knew would be challenging, but it's something he has embraced.

"I was telling my A.D. if I'm going to get it, I want to get it one of two ways," Howard said.

"I'd get it in January, so I can rework my plan or get it right here in this time so all I can do is react. So what I've done is try to put these kids in the best situation and just react on what's been given to me."

Before working at Ridtg View, Howard was at W.J. Keenan, Fairfield Central, Lower Richland and Allen University . He does have a connection to the Pee Dee, having attended McLaurin Elementary in Florence before his family moved.