Admiral Farragut officially announced the hiring of former Florida State linebacker Buster Davis as its next football coach on Friday.
Davis coached this past season at Duval Charter in Jacksonville. He was fired during the team’s inaugural season after going 0-7 and being outscored 358-8, according to jacksonville.com.
Davis replaces Chris Miller, who resigned in January after eight seasons.
“As the coach at Farragut, our program will be based on the pillars of discipline, responsibility, respect, and sportsmanship,” Davis said in a released statement. “All of these principles will be demanded by everyone that is a part of the football program.”
After starring for the Seminoles from 2002-06, Davis was drafted in the third round (69th overall) in the 2007 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He was also a member of the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, and Houston Texans.
Following his NFL career, Davis coached as an assistant at Glenville State College in West Virginia in 2010 and was the linebackers coach at South Dakota the following season.
“The philosophy of coach Davis mirrors the mission of Farragut and his dedication to student success is in line with our values,” AFA headmaster Bob Fine said in a statement.
The opening was a popular one with more than 90 applicants. The administration whittled the list to six finalists who interviewed the past two weeks, including Ocala West Port head coach Ryan Hearn and former Lakewood star and current FSU radio analyst William Floyd. USF offensive coordinator Greg Gregory was in the mix before accepting a job as the offensive coordinator at Morgan State.
AFA athletic director Matt Thompson said Friday the interviews were conducted by himself, Fine and high school principal Shannon Graves.
But two other potential candidates said Larry Smith, an FSU graduate who has children who attend AFA, also was involved in the process. Smith is also an athletic booster at Farragut.
Hearn said Smith was present during his interview. And Derrick Alexander, football coach at Bishop McLaughlin, said Smith contacted him to gauge his interest in a position at the school more than a year ago. But Alexander said he would rather stay at Bishop McLaughlin.
Davis takes over a program that went to the playoffs three straight years (2009-11) and advanced to the Class 2A state championship game in 2011.
The Blue Jackets return two of the county’s top prospects in running back Cortavious Givens and linebacker Napoleon Maxwell.
Miller guided the Blue Jackets to three of the school’s six playoff appearances and was the Times’ Pinellas County coach of the year in 2011 after going to the state title game. Last season, AFA went 8-2 and missed the playoffs after losing the regular-season finale to Cambridge Christian.
Bob Putnam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobbyHomeTeam.