By Thomas Grant Jr.
Dutch Fork has found its new girls’ basketball coach.
The school announced the hiring of Candace Bush to the position last week. She comes over from Columbia High School where she spent the past three seasons.
“As a coach, you always want to move to the next level,” Bush said. “I felt that my previous experiences have prepared me for this level. Also, having the opportunity to coach in a well-established program as Dutch Fork was one, I felt I couldn’t pass up once the opportunity presented itself.
The move is déjà vu of sorts for Bush, a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate. She replaced coaching legend in S.C. Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame member Bobby Young in 2020.
This time, Bush replaces longtime Lady Silver Foxes’ head coach Faye Norris, who retired after 30 years in the profession and more than 500 victories. During Norris’ tenure, Dutch Fork won three state Class 4A titles, two with former University of South Carolina and current Phoenix Mercury center Alaina Coates.
“I’m always working to become a better coach and following Hall of Fame coaches such as Coach Young, and Coach Norris, pushes me to continue learning and growing in the game,” Bush said. “It’s pressure, but it’s good pressure. Because it’s making me strive to reach those levels in my career one day.
Bush’s coaching career began at her alma mater Fairfield Central High School. She was the head volleyball coach and junior varsity girls’ basketball coach for four years and track coach for eight years.
W.C. Sanders Middle School was Bush’s next stop. During her five-year tenure, the basketball program posted a 58-13 overall record and won 3 district championships.
Bush is coming off a 16-10 season with the Lady Capitols. She takes over a Lady Silver Foxes’ program which went 14-10, finished second in Region 4-5A behind Lexington and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
I am a coach who’s big on defense, and I believe in creating our offense, through our defense, so we will pressure the ball often, in most cases,” Bush said. “And I feel that this approach will also help us compete for a top region finish as well. After playing through this past month of June, I feel really positive that the group of returning players will be able to manage and adjust to that system well, with a few minor adjustments.”