Mahaffey named to succeed Cann as Landrum High football coach

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Former head coach and current athtletic director John Cann sat watching his successor with a smile of his own.The board approval was the final official stamp on Mahaffey&squo;s selection to take over the Landrum football team after six years as the team&squo;s defensive coordinator.&uot;It was important to me who came in and took over the program because we&squo;ve put a lot of effort in the last seven years in getting the program up and running,&uot; Cann said. &uot;I wanted to hand it over to someone who knew the program and what it had come from.&uot;The bump in Mahaffey&squo;s status was a win-win situation for Landrum High School, said principal Brian Sher-man.There were two strong reasons that made Mahaffey the right man for the job, Sherman said.&uot;Number one, he and coach Cann will work extremely well together,&uot; Sherman said. &uot;Second, just having a man of coach Mahaffey&squo;s character out there with those kids means a lot to me.&uot;That&squo;s the main thing that Cann, Sherman and Mahaffey agree on ‐ it&squo;s all about the kids.For Mahaffey, the job advancement fulfills a dream. For years, he&squo;s said, he wanted to be a head football coach and as the years passed his desire to coach at Landrum strengthened, he said.&uot;I&squo;ve always wanted to be a head football coach and I love Landrum,&uot; he said. &uot;In the back of my mind, I always wanted to be the head coach (at Landrum).&uot;He played football at Chapman High School from 1985 until 1988. He then went on to college at USC Upstate and simultaneously coached at Dawkins Middle School. His first job after college coaching was at Landrum. He coached the defensive and offensive lines under head coach Mike O&squo;Shields. Seven years ago, Cann was hired as the head football coach and in Cann&squo;s second year, Mahaffey became the defensive coordinator.As for his plans with the team, he&squo;s going to sit down and talk with his coaching staff and discuss any plans.&uot;I see us changing the offense a little bit,&uot; he said. &uot;We&squo;ll keep the same style defense.&uot;There is no plan currently in place to fill his old job, Mahaffey said. It&squo;s something that Mahaffey says he will discuss with Cann and his coaching staff.One thing that he will start hammering into his players this spring will be &uot;attitude.&uot;&uot;We&squo;re going to preach attitude,&uot; he said. &uot;If you believe, things are going to happen.&uot;Landrum fans have become accustomed to Cann&squo;s fiery sideline demeanor, but what can they expect from Mahaffey on Friday nights?&uot;You can expect a lot of excitement when we score and when we prevent people from scoring,&uot; Mahaffey said with his usual smile and then transforming into more of a devilish grin he said, &uot;Other than that you can expect someone who&squo;s going to think and someone who&squo;s going to think.&uot;Mahaffey will take over the football team immediately and will still coach track this spring.

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