MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
After a five-year hiatus, Dan Mancuso is returning to coaching in Pinellas County at the most unlikely destination.
The former St. Petersburg Catholic head coach was hired as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northeast, one of the schools that turned in the Barons to the Florida High School Athletic Association for recruiting a player in 2006 while Mancuso was coach.
Mancuso resigned from SPC in 2006 after the FHSAA fined the school $13,000 and banned it from the playoffs for three years after finding the program guilty of three counts of recruiting and four counts of illegal practices. He has coached the past few years in Hillsborough County and was an offensive assistant for Jefferson last year when it won the Class 4A state title. In the offseason, Mancuso was named offensive coordinator at Gaither.
But he decided to come back to Pinellas after Northeast coach Mike Jalazo offered him a position on his staff. Jalazo, who was named the Vikings coach earlier this month, previously coached at Admiral Farragut, Clearwater Central Catholic and Leto. He and Mancuso coached against each for years when Jalazo was with the Marauders.
"Danny and I have been friends for a long time," Jalazo said. "The opportunity presented itself and we were able to bring him in. I'm sure people will be skeptical and critical of this hire, but Danny has paid a price and served his time. I think he can help us in a lot of ways."
Northeast assistant principal/athletic director Greg Zornes approved the hiring after careful consideration.
"I believe in second chances," Zornes said. "We talked to a lot of people about this. Danny's not coming as a head coach just an assistant. Everything seemed to be okay."