Harris Cabaniss was hired as the new Head Coach for Mauldin High School’s football team, and already has six games under his belt. Cabaniss was the Defensive Coordinator at Mauldin prior to becoming Head Coach for the fall 2017 season. With several years of experience, he brings a new perspective to the team and family values. Before success is had on the field, he stresses it all starts at home. Only with the daily support of his rock solid family including his wife and new baby can he achieve his goals. On the field, he is working to build an equally strong family foundation for his football team.
Immediately, his warmth shines through his voice, “Call me Harry,” he says. Almost as if everyone he meets is a relative, he’s welcoming, familiar and friendly. He grew up in Traveler’s Rest, but his family moved to Greenville just in time for high school. During his years at J.L. Mann High, he became a football player and met his future wife who was a cheerleader. That’s right, he and his wife, Haley are high school sweet hearts. Love stories don’t get any better than that! Together, they are parents to their three-month-old son, Will, “He’s only missed one game because he was sick.” Cabaniss praises his wife, “If she wasn’t behind me none of this would have happened. She’s my rock.” Mrs.
Cabaniss joins him at games and utilizes her cheer skills each week. Currently, she’s a teacher at Bethel and enjoys seeing her students after hours at the games. Since Mr. and Mrs. Cabaniss work at neighboring schools, they know a lot of the same families. All-in-all, you could say every football game is one big family affair.
Cabaniss played high school wide receiver, running back, corner and safety, “I loved high school football. It was a lot more raw.” College ball was a bit more business-like he admits, but it didn’t stop his love for the sport. He played safety at Newberry College and graduated in 2011. His secondary education degree was achieved with a focus in social studies. As for his football strategy as Head Coach at Mauldin High, he plans to meld business, fun, and the raw experience into one. However, first and foremost, he encourages the players that the team’s success starts at home, “We preach about being a good son, then the rest is easy.”
Past coaching experiences were at Woodland High School in Dorchester County. Cabaniss was a Defensive Coordinator on the football team and was simultaneously the Head Coach of the track team in the southern part of the state. In 2013, he led the track team to win the state championship. At a young age, Cabaniss explains all the responsibility had major impacts, “It molded me and made me who I am today.” In 2014, he and his family moved back to the Upstate for a coaching position at Mauldin. This year, he finally got his chance to become Head Coach of the
Mauldin Mavericks, “It means a lot that they took a chance on me. They were in a situation where they could have hired a big name. I appreciate Mauldin giving me the opportunity to do it.”
An emphasis on family makes Cabaniss a charismatic coach who no doubt has a big future. Although his main goal is to play at the state championship, developing bonds and relationships with his team come first. Players affectionately refer to him as Coach Cab, which is a nickname he’d like to keep. In order to continually grow the program on all levels, Cabaniss explains, “For me to be successful, the program has to be successful. I’m going to do everything in my power to make us be the best. And, be recognizable on and off the field.”
Besides football, his family’s favorite thing to do is get away, “We love going for long drives out in the middle of nowhere, to the beach and the lake.” He also enjoys away football games and all they entail. Currently, Mauldin High holds four wins and two losses. Its apparent Cabaniss has already been victorious. Not only at the majority of games played so far, but also at putting family first. Some may say that’s how true champions are made. When games are played with heart and supported by family, a legacy isn’t far behind. ♦