Brian Surcy, a 1996 Bloomingdale graduate, had tried to become the head football coach at his alma mater once before, applying for the job when Corey Brinson stepped down in 2007.
Surcy, then 29, was passed over. But he never gave up on the dream.
Early Friday morning — when athletic director Donny Peek called Surcy to offer him the job as Bloomingdale’s coach — Surcy finally felt like his perseverance paid off.
“For me, it’s a lesson that I’ll be able to teach to our kids. And that’s the most important thing to me,” he said. “You’re going to get disappointed, but you’ve just got to pick up the pieces and move on and continue to believe that good things will happen for you.”
Surcy, 36, replaces John Booth, who took the head coaching job at Bradenton Manatee on July 1. Surcy has spent the past two seasons as running backs coach on Booth’s staff, his second stint as an assistant for the Bulls.
Peek said there was a group of 20 applicants from all over the country, which was then narrowed down to three finalists. For Peek, it was Surcy’s love of both the game and the school that made him stand out.
“Bloomingdale has never hired an alumni before,” Peek said. “The passion he has for that program, playing on that field, walking those halls, we think he’s got the desire to continue to make it a winner.”
After graduating from Bloomingdale in 1996, Surcy was a running back at USF. In addition to assisting at Bloomingdale, Surcy has coached at Middleton and Tampa Catholic.
In his first season as a head coach, Surcy will inherit a Bloomingdale team that finished 6-4 in 2013 — the best season in school history. It’s a different Bloomingdale than the one Surcy knew as a player in the ’90s, a time in which the Bulls piled up losing seasons. But he isn’t about to rest on last year’s improvement.
Within 90 minutes of being named head coach, Surcy had already called a coaches’ meeting for Friday evening.
“You just have to sit back and thank God first of all, and take it in,” Surcy said of nabbing the job he’s always wanted. “I also know, too, that there’s a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time. We’ve got to hit the ground running.”
Contact Kelly Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @_kellyparsons.