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Bruce Gifford resigns as Riverview football coach

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Mon. September 26, 2011 | Eduardo A. Encina

Bruce Gifford, Riverview's head football coach since 2008, has resigned from his position for health reasons, Riverview athletic director Kevin Massena said Monday morning.

Gifford turned in his resignation Monday morning at 8 a.m., Massena said. Gifford confirmed his resignation by text message.

“(It has) nothing to do with the team or the kids,” Gifford said in a text message Monday morning. “Strictly personal.”

Massena, who said he was surprised by the mid-season timing of Gifford’s resignation, said Gifford has recently been dealing with blood pressure issues. He's had health issues in the past: Before the 2010 season, Gifford had two emergency right-eye surgeries for a detached retina.

“He’s had some health issues,” Massena said. “You can’t fault someone for wanting to be in good health. He’s a good man and I like him.”

Massena said an interim head coach will be appointed to take over the team for the remainder of the season and a search for Gifford’s successor will take place after the season. He added he would like the interim coach to be on Riverview’s faculty.

“It’s a big undertaking,” Massena said. “I hope it would be a faculty member, someone who can be around the kids and see them in the hallways.”

The Sharks were 2-0 heading into last week after receiving a Week 1 forfeit win over Spoto, the team’s best official start under Gifford, but Riverview lost handily to Plant City 56-0 on Friday.

Riverview was 6-26 under Gifford, who took over for former coach Dan O’Regan following the 2007 season.

Reach Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@sptimes.com and follow him on Twitter at @EddieHometeam.

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