Duncan, SC (Scott Keeler, Greenville News) - Bobby Bentley, who built the Byrnes High football program into a national power, is leaving to take a position at Auburn University, Byrnes athletic director Tony Gillespie confirmed today.
Gillespie said he was unsure what role Bentley would serve at Auburn, which finished as the BCS runner-up this past season under first-year coach Gus Malzahn.
Bentley, a 1986 graduate of Byrnes, served as as the school's head coach for 13 seasons, leading the Rebels to four consecutive Class AAAA state championships from 2002 to 2005. He was 119-54 as Byrnes' head coach.
He left the school in 2007 to become head coach at his alma mater, Presbyterian College, and compiled a 10-13 record in two seasons. He resigned in January 2009 and became athletic director for Spartanburg County School District 5. He also served as the Rebels' offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012 and then became head coach again in 2013 when Chris Miller resigned to become head coach at Spartanburg High.
The Rebels went 12-2 this past season, when they lost to eventual state champion Dutch Fork in the semifinals of the Class AAAA Divison I playoffs. Bentley's son Shuler served as Byrnes' quarterback in 2013, setting a state record with 71 touchdown passes. Shuler Bentley, who signed with Old Dominion, also holds the state record for career touchdown passes with 177 and the school career record with 13,232 yards passing.
Bentley was selected Nike's national Coach of the Year after the 2005 season and was selected as the South Carolina Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2006, when the Rebels were ranked as high as No. 2 nationally by USA TODAY.