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Fri. November 4, 2011 | Joey Knight | Email

One of Hillsborough County's worst-kept secrets formally was acknowledged Friday evening, when loved ones, colleagues, and former players of longtime county coach Joe Severino gathered to honor him before his final home game at John Adcock Stadium.

Severino, whose 1-7 team hosted Steinbrenner on Friday, is retiring as a teacher in June after 35 years, and walking away after 18 seasons as a head coach in Hillsborough County.

Affectionately known as "Big Daddy," he'll coach his final game Thursday at Hillsborough.

A West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman graduate, Severino, 58, entered Friday's game with a 72-114 career record that included stints at Gaither, Tampa Bay Tech, King and Chamberlain. His teams reached the playoffs three times, collecting three postseason victories.

He took over Chamberlain's program 2 1/2 years ago when the program was in total disarray. John Colbert, hired in April 2009 to replace legendary Chiefs coach Billy Turner, resigned two months later following an exodus of players to other schools.

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