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Creneti steps down at St. Petersburg Catholic

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Tue. March 1, 2011 | John C. Cotey | Email

Tod Creneti is moving on to his next rebuilding job.

The St. Petersburg Catholic football coach, who took over a program on probation and reeling from Florida High School Athletic Association sanctions, is heading south to take the football and assistant athletic director positions with Bradenton St. Stephen's.

Creneti, 41, told his Baron players Monday afternoon he was resigning.

"It was a very difficult conversation,'' Creneti said. "But I feel like I'm leaving the school in a much better situation than I found it in.''

He was hired in 2007 after a three-year stint at Melbourne Central Catholic, a program that was placed on probation just as he arrived.

At SPC, he stepped into an even tougher spot. The Barons were fined $13,000 and handed a three-year playoff ban under former coach Dan Mancuso when Creneti was hired to, in large part, clean up the football program's image.

There is little question he has done so successfully.

"I feel like we were able to rebuild our relationship in the community and that was very important,'' said Creneti. "We're in good standing with other schools in area. I certainly would have liked to have been more successful on the field with wins and losses, but I'm leaving feeling like we accomplished a lot."

Creneti didn't find the same success on the field. In his fourth season last year, the Barons were 1-9.

But the team, looking forward to a promising 2010 season, was decimated by defections last spring as standout Division I-A defensive linemen Dante Fowler and Evan Holmes transferred to Lakewood and another defensive starter was lost to grades.

Creneti said last year was his toughest, but he always tried to keep his players hopeful.

"It was tough watching the guys go through that,'' he said. "I don't care what our record was, I was guy who loved my players and tried to take care of them and make them better men.''

At St. Stephen's, Creneti will be able to work at the same school his 6- and 8-year-old daughters will attend.

"It's a great opportunity for our family,'' he said.

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