It is that time of year where coaches pack the offices up, load up the trucks and make their moves into and out of offices across the state with a variety of coaching changes that take place. Starting now and following up each Monday here after through spring football, we will present Moving Van Mondays, catching you up with the latest coaching change news in an easy formatted style.
However, this week, we will present several editions of Moving Van Mondays breaking down the changes in each classification as well as the independents.
Here is what has occurred in Classes 8A and 7A since the start of the offseason.
Thomson resigns from DeLand with three games left in the season
With three games left in the regular season sitting at 2-5, James Thomson bailed on his DeLand citing a disappointment of the progress of the program as his reason for leaving. In the process, Vernon Shelton was named interim head coach immediately and the school removed the interim tag from his title after the end of the season.
Orlando Freedom seeks replacement
According to FootballScoop.com, Jeffrey Higgins and Orlando Freedom have parted ways as Higgins looks at new opportunities. As such the school is on the lookout for a new head coach with no additional information on a possible search available at this time.
Musical chairs going once again at Haines City
For the fourth time in five seasons, Haines City is again looking for a new football coach as Jake Chapman agreed to step down from his position as the school cited needing to improve as for the decision. The Hornets finished the 2015 season with an 0-10 record, the only winless record in Polk County.
Homestead seeking new coach
Larry Coffey and Homestead have agreed to part ways following a 2-8 season this past fall, going 10-20 overall in three season with the Broncos. Coffey’s best season came in 2013 when Homestead finished 5-5.
Lake Brantley coach hangs up the whistle
After 19 years, longtime coach George Clayton retired from coaching following a second round loss to Mandarin. Clayton was 148-61 during his time and included one state championship game appearance in 2006.
For Lyman a new Greyhound is in the building
Jeff Gierke stepped down after four years compiling a 14-28 record during his tenure. Former Celebration head coach Dennis Thomas will take over the program this upcoming season after guiding Celebration its best season, a 7-4 record, including a loss to Olympia in a bowl game in 2015.
Oak Ridge makes unexpected change
The Pioneers will seek out their third head coach in as as many seasons as the school moved to oust Tyrone Sapp after one season at the helm, which finished with a District 8A-5 runner-up finish and 8-3 overall record. The school wanted to open up the search nationally for a new head coach and hopes to hire a new coach two months prior to spring football.
Seminole Ridge has a change for the first time in three years
Citing medical reasons, Scott Barnwell resigned from his coaching duties after going 14-16 during his three years, including 3-7 this past fall. Now comes in longtime assistant coach James Parsons to take over as the head coach and has promoted JV coach Jalani Lord as his offensive coordinator.
South Plantation will have third different leader in just over a year
After years of trying to balance a family, a football program, a teaching position and an ailing father, Doug Gatewood resigned from coaching just weeks before the 2015 season started. Assistant coach Nicholas “Nick” Dellaria was named the new head coach prior to the first game of the season.
Taravella seeks a new coach
After many years as the head coach Dan Marguriet has parted ways as the head coach at Taravella according to FootballScoop.com. The Trojans finished the 2015 season with a 2-8 record and finishing tie for fourth in District 8A-11 with Coral Springs and Monarch.
Sanford Seminole opens up unexpectedly
After holding the position of head coach the last three years at his alma mater, Kerry Wiggins was dismissed as head coach, but was told he could reapply for the job as the principal seeks to make sure the best person possible is in the job, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Wiggins finishes with a 12-18 record overall.
Thomas leaves Celebration in good shape after three-year run
After three years, Dennis Thomas resigned from the job to take the vacant Lyman job in December. Thomas leaves the program in good hands after guiding the Storm to one win in 2013, 3 wins in 2014 and a program best 7 wins this past season.
East River makes sweeping changes after two years under Doug Gabriel
After two years, East River and Doug Gabriel agreed to mutually part ways after a 1-9 season this past season. Three days after Christmas, West Orange offensive coordinator Collin Drafts was hired the new coach for the Falcons, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Fleming Island head coach investigated for misconduct midseason and released
Following an investigation of possible grand theft pertaining to money associated with booster club transactions, Frank Hall was suspended and let go from his coaching duties. Assistant coach Damenyum Springs was named interim coach for the remainder of the 2015 season with no word if Springs’ interim tag will be removed or if the school will go in a different direction.
Sickles seeking new coach after winngest coach in school history steps down
Despite winning 50 games in six seasons, Brian Turner was let go from his coaching duties at the Tampa school. No word yet on who Turner’s possible replacement will be heading into the 2016 season, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Turnover once again at Strawberry Crest
Just five games into the season, John Kelly was removed from the program following a 0-5 start on the season. After the season, former Tarpon Springs coach Ron Hawn was named the new head coach after a lengthy process. Hawn went 17-16 in three seasons at Tarpon Springs including two playoff appearances.