After one promising autumn as Chamberlain football coach, D.J. Mayo has resigned to become quarterbacks coach at fledgling NAIA program Warner University in Lake Wales.
Mayo told the Tampa Bay Times he was forced to seek another job after his teaching certificate expired despite extensive efforts to earn a renewal. He said he worked nights and weekends to complete the school district's Alternative Certification Program (ACP) for non-education majors.
He informed Chamberlain principal Tommy Morrill of his resignation Monday. His departure comes exactly four weeks before Florida high schools may begin preseason practice.
"I enjoyed my time there," said Mayo, who will coach quarterbacks at Warner.
"I'm proudest of the fact we were third in the county in terms of (team) GPA. I'm proud we were able to get kids to college. We accomplished a lot. I only regret that I won't be able to finish, but I have no doubt whoever takes over will finish the job."
Though Mayo taught physical education at the school, Morrill said the search won't be confined to those already on campus. He even suggested he'd be willing to seek those who work outside the school system.
"It is wide open," Morrill said.
Reared in Daytona Beach, Mayo arrived in Forest Hills after two seasons as offensive coordinator at Port Orange Atlantic. Inheriting a team that totaled five victories in the three seasons prior to his arrival, he quickly injected accountability and a spread-option attack into the floundering program.
The result was a 4-6 record, with Chamberlain still in playoff contention the first week of November.
"He was doing an excellent job," said Morrill, who broke the news Monday morning to roughly 50 Chiefs players on campus for conditioning work. "I was very happy with him."
The Chiefs now will be seeking their fourth coach since local icon Billy Turner, the county's alltime winningest coach, retired at the end of the 2008 season.
"We want the best candidate, the best teacher and the best coach," Morrill said.