Zephyrhills hires Sunlake assistant Nick Carroll as football coach
Zephyrhills has hired Sunlake assistant Nick Carroll to take over the football program, according to a news release from the school district.
Carroll, a Zephyrhills graduate, replaces Reggie Roberts, who went 39-23 in six seasons and guided the Bulldogs to the playoffs as district runners-up each of the past two seasons. Carroll, who will teach physical education at Zephyrhills, officially takes over Feb. 9.
Roberts, a detective sergeant with the Zephyrhills Police Department, said he was done four weeks ago when he was officially informed by principal Angie Stone the school would be looking for a full-time on-campus coach.
The move angered many players and community members. Two weeks ago, several citizens voiced their displeasure about the dismissal of Roberts to the Pasco County School Board.
Zephyrhills countered that it needs an on-campus football coach because practices tended to start late under Roberts because of his other full-time job and Thursday practices actually began at 5:30 a.m. Teachers complained about behavior problems with football players in study hall, with no support from the coach in terms of discipline. And the school maintains that there were no consequences when players failed to attend class.
Zephyrhills whittled down its list of candidates to five finalists: Carroll, Mike Lawrence Tico Hernandez, Carey McCray and Cameron Porch. Lawrence and Hernandez are former head coaches at Wiregrass Ranch and Wesley Chapel, respectively.
Carroll was a nine-year assistant for the Seahawks, who have been consistent playoff contenders. He inherits a Bulldogs program that has a solid nucleus returning from last year and will be considered one of the favorites to win the Class 5A, District 8 title.