Defending the Donnie Abraham hire
Last week, some scoffed at the hiring of Donnie Abraham as the coach-in-waiting at Clearwater. Critics pointed out that he stayed at Gibbs for just two seasons before bolting. When Abraham left, his record was only 10-11, hardly stellar for a coach at such a plush job.
But Abraham could be just what the Tornadoes need.
For starters, Clearwater's problem last season was defense. The Tornadoes gave up more than 30 points per game, including more than 50 twice. In the spring, it only got worse against Largo. Defense is Abaraham's specialty. After starting 0-3 in 2009 at Gibbs, Abraham helped turn the defense around, allowing just 76 points in the last seven games as the Gladiators went on a roll to win the school's first district title. True, Gibbs did stumble to 3-7 in 2010 but the Gladiators were in a rebuilding year after losing several key starters, including Division I recruits Jarvis West (Iowa State) and Tim Jackson (North Carolina).
As far as Abaraham's commitment, he left because he took a job with the Tampa Bay Storm but it also was quite a haul from the Tarpon Springs area to Gibbs each day. At Clearwater, he will have a much shorter drive.
But the biggest key for Abraham to have success is building a good staff. He had a great one at Gibbs with current Countryside coach Jared Davis and Gladiators coach Antonio Knox as assistants.