River Bluff High School, which is under construction and set to open in 2013, has already named two head coaches for its varsity sports programs.
The new school, being built on Corley Mill Road, didn't have to look far for the men who will lead the school's baseball and basketball programs.
Mark Bonnette, currently physical education teacher and varsity assistant football coach at White Knoll High School, will become RBHS’s head varsity baseball coach in 2013–2014. Next year, 2012–2013, Bonnette will continue to serve as a WKHS varsity assistant football coach while coaching the Meadow Glen Middle School baseball team in the spring of the 2012–2013 academic year.
Bonnette has 14 years of education experience and began his teaching career in 1998 as physical education teacher and assistant varsity football coach and head varsity baseball coach at Silver Bluff High School, leading the team to back-to-back baseball playoff appearances.
In 2000, Bonnette joined White Knoll High School as physical education teacher and varsity assistant head baseball and pitching coach, a coaching position he held through 2011. During his tenure, WKHS’s baseball team won four region championships, four district championships, three Forest Acres Classic championships, the 2005 IP Classic championship, the 2010 Lower State championship and the 2010 4A State championship.
Bonnette was named the 2003 AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year.
He graduated from Newberry College with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He completes his master’s degree in administration from the University of South Carolina in 2012. He is certified in physical education and secondary administration.
While at Newberry College, Bonnette was a four-year letterman in baseball. In high school, he lettered in three sports and was Airport High School’s 1993 Athlete of the Year. He is a member of the South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association.
Benjamin R. Lee, currently varsity assistant coach for boys basketball and junior varsity boys basketball head coach at Lexington High School, will become head varsity boys basketball coach at RBHS in 2013–2014.
Lee has five years of education experience and began his teaching career in 2007 as a social studies teacher at Lexington High.
Lee played three years of basketball at Montreat College in North Carolina. His team won the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament championship and attended the NAIA Division II National Tournament in Branson, Missouri.
Lee transferred to the University of South Carolina. While a student at the University of South Carolina from 2002–2005, Lee assisted with the Lexington Attendance Area’s basketball program. In 2005, he became head B-Team boys basketball coach at Lexington High School.
In 2007, he became head junior varsity basketball coach and assistant varsity boys basketball coach at Lexington High.
During that time, the varsity boys basketball team made the playoffs every year, earning four region championships, and making Lower State championship appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and State championship appearances in 2010 and 2012.
Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Teaching from the University of South Carolina. He is certified in secondary social studies and holds certification in advance placement human geography from Clemson University.
He is a member of the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association and the National Council for the Social Studies.