Former Tarpon Springs football coach George Kotis returns
Former Tarpon Springs football coach George Kotis said he is returning to take over the program at the request of school administrators.
The decision was made Friday after school. Kotis replaces Mike Lube, who went 2-8 in his first season with the Spongers.
Lube said he was dismissed as coach by principal Leza Fatolitis.
“She is a new principal and has a certain way she wants to see the program run and we just had a difference of opinions,” Lube said. “I stuck to my guns and was not going to quit on my kids. I feel the worst for the kids because they worked so hard and it’s difficult on them going through another change.”
Kotis, who still is a teacher at the school, officially starts his second tenure on March 28 when students return from spring break. The move is on an interim basis.
This is the fourth coaching change Tarpon Springs has gone through since Kotis resigned in January 2010 after four seasons.
“I really thought I was done coaching,” said Kotis, who applied for the job when it was open last year. “But I know the program has gone down some since I left and I wanted to step in and try to fix it and get it back to where it was before I left.”
Before stepping down, Kotis had been a part of the Spongers program since 1987, much of that as the offensive line assistant. In his first head coaching stint, Kotis went 29-15 and guided Tarpon Springs to the playoffs in 2006, '08 and '09.
The 2009 team won the program's first playoff game since 1994, then won the following week against Gainesville before losing to Orlando Edgewater in the region finals.
Before the Edgewater game, Kotis changed starting quarterbacks, replacing Louis Pappas with Wyatt Wikle, a move that drew complaints from some in the community.
Kotis also was embroiled in a standoff with the football booster club over the election on new officers during his final season in 2009.