Democrats in South Carolina are hoping Upstate Rep. Mike Anthony, a retired teacher and football coach, could be the next state superintendent of education.

Anthony, who represents Union and Laurens counties, plans to announce his intentions to run for the post during a statewide rollout tomorrow morning. He’ll travel the state speaking to audiences in Union and Columbia, and at 6:30 p.m. at the City Hall in North Charleston.

Republican Mick Zais, the former president of Newberry College, currently holds the position. Former schools chief Jim Rex was the last Democrat to hold statewide office in South Carolina until Zais won election in 2010. 

The candidate, who aides call “Coach Anthony,” sits on the powerful budget-writing House Ways and Means Committee. Expect football to come up plenty in campaign materials in a state where politics and pigskin are like religion.