From Coaching to Congress?

Former Coastal Carolina University football coach David Bennett is considering a run for South Carolina's new 7th Congressional District seat.

The former coach told the Conway Rotary Club Thursday that he was contacted more than a month ago by someone active in politics who urged him to run for the seat that was formed after the 2010 census.

Bennett said he turned down the idea three times, but then a member of his family said something this week that made him reconsider.

"Our son Jeb said, 'Daddy, what if the timing of this is God's plan and this is what you're supposed to do?' And I said, 'Well, boy, I don't know, but we're gonna continue to pray about this and see where it leads us,' " Bennett told NewsChannel 15.

Bennett said his Christian faith leads him to hope that whoever wins the race will put God first, and focus on what has been a big concern for him: improving the lives of young people.

"The number one thing is taking care of our children in our schools, getting jobs, more jobs for our people. We're a very unemployed area, so there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed," Bennett said.

Bennett coached the Chanticleers for 11 seasons before being dismissed in December.

Today, he volunteers as a coach for his son's high school golf team and keeps busy doing speaking engagements.

Though Bennett has never run for office before, one Conway Rotary Club member who has long been active in Republican politics said the former coach could quickly become a top candidate in the race.

"He'd come in with an open mind, with no preconceived ideas. I think he would be an outstanding candidate," said Don Helms, a former executive committeeman for the Horry County Republican party.

If he gets in, Bennett would join nine other Republicans already in the race, along with five Democrats. He's running out of time to decide. The deadline to file is March 30th.