Chris Taylor has been hired as the first football coach at Fivay, principal Angie Stone announced Monday in an e-mail. The school opens this fall.
Taylor, 33, who coached Ridgewood for five seasons, had his best success in 2007, guiding the Rams to the program's second playoff appearance thanks to the solid running of Pasco County's all-time leading rusher Byronell Arline. That team finished 10-1.
Taylor compiled an overall record of 24-27, but struggled with back-to-back losing records the past two seasons including 3-7 in 2009.
At Fivay, Taylor will have the opportunity to build a program expected to pull kids from Hudson, Ridgewood and River Ridge. The other finalists were Tim White, Gary Allen, Adam Winegarden, Ron Johnson and Bobby Bennett.
"I think it's a great opportunity to start something new," Taylor said. "It's exciting to build tradition and build on what I've started in the community. It's going to be very difficult to leave Ridgewood. I had some good solid kids in the program. This football team coming up should be pretty good with 17 seniors coming back. They should be looking at a run to the playoffs."
So why leave a program on the cusp of a great season? Taylor said he enjoys the process of watching teams develop.
"The first year here we were 1-9 with 16 sophomores," Taylor said of Ridgewood. "To see them progress each year is the exciting thing about it."
Taylor said the Falcons will run spring drills without pads, and the team will run a split varsity-JV schedule in the fall.