Coaching News

Olympic Heights sees coaching change on the first day of spring football

Chris Kokell (far right) is handing over the reins of the Olympic Heights program over to Baz Alfred (far left). (PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Kokell)

BOCA RATON, Fla. — In a surprising move Monday morning, Chris Kokell announced that he was stepping down as the head coach at Olympic Heights (Boca Raton) two years after revamping the program.

First reported by ESPN West Palm Beach and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kokell cited his desire to spend more time with family, plus commute time from Stuart proved too difficult for him to continue on as head coach.

The change marks the 117th coaching change on The Original Coaches Moving Van.

Baz Alfred, who has been a longtime assistant with Kokell at his other stops including Forest Hill (West Palm Beach) and Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul II) in Boca Raton, was immediately promoted to head coach.

Kokell did tell FloridaHSFootball.com he just didn’t want to be the guy that hung around not giving it his all, but feels that Alford will help make Olympic Heights football even get better.

“Getting married, having two kids, I couldn’t give my all like I had in the past. I didn’t want to be the guy that just hung around. The kids deserve so much better. With a coach like Baz Alfred on staff, who I have known and worked with for a decade waiting in the wings, it was time. Olympic Heights football got better today,” Kokell said.

Kokell improved Olympic Heights to an impressive 7-3 record in 2016 after going 1-9 in 2015, his first year at the school and told the Sun-Sentinel that 18 starters from the team last year will return along with 60 kids likely to be dressed out for spring football as Alfred taking over.

And Kokell thinks Alfred will do a fine job he told FloridaHSFootball.com.

“I love that guy. Couldn’t be happier. With all the coaching changes in the area, I’m shocked he wasn’t stolen from us sooner. Coach Baz Alfred deserves this opportunity,” Kokell said.

Alfred is a native of Palm Beach County having played high school football at Boca Raton and has had other coaching stops including those at Wellington and the now-defunct Zion Lutheran in Deerfield Beach. His brother Bee will continue to be the offensive coordinator, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

“I’m probably in the best situation for any new coach this year. I’m being promoted in a staff I’m already familiar with. It’s not a new guy coming in who wants to bring in his new system and philosophy. It’s me being promoted and saying, ‘Let’s keep going,’” Alfred told the Sun-Sentinel.

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