Beaufort Today -

Beaufort and basketball coach Livesay part ways; school promotes Mike Ark

Beaufort athletic director Linc Lyles said last week the school is parting ways with boys basketball coach Nathan Livesay in a mutual decision based largely on Livesay exploring other interests.

Livesay will leave Beaufort with a 37-32 record in three seasons with one region championship. His overall record is 192-87 in 11 seasons of coaching.

Rather than conducting a search, Lyles and Beaufort High have decided to promote assistant Mike Ark to the head coaching position.

Ark has been teaching and coaching for 20 years and has 11 years of head coaching experience.

Most of that experience came in North Carolina and Ohio, but he spent one season as head coach at Colleton County in 2015-16. He has been teaching physical education and serving as Livesay’s assistant since then.

“I’ve benefited a lot by taking a step back in coaching these past two seasons,” Ark said. “I’ve learned a lot from coach Livesay and I’m looking forward to building upon what he started.”

Beaufort is in a state of roster turnover and Ark is embracing the challenge of almost starting from scratch.

“I’m pretty excited about the opportunity. The program right now is in a state where we graduated seven of our top eight players in terms of playing time and experience,” Ark said.

“The guys that we have are primarily young. I’m excited to work with them and do our best to get it up and going.”

Ark said the program’s young players could benefit from speeding up the tempo a bit from past seasons.

“My goal is to hopefully hit the ground running and probably play a lot of guys and play fast. I’ve always liked to play fast. I think the kids like it. It’s more fun for them,” he said.

“We’ve played somewhat fast these past two years, but I’d like to go a little faster if we can. We’ve got some young kids who are pretty athletic.”

Ark said Beaufort is getting someone who loves the game.

“I’m a basketball junkie,” Ark said. “I watch basketball. That’s what I do outside of work. I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I spend a lot of time going to clinics, trying to learn the game and get better, and I want to pass that on along to the kids.”

Ark’s first big events as head coach will be June 12-15 and 19-22 when he will host camps for fourth- through eighth-graders.