Gerold Dickens resigns from Strawberry Crest

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Wed. January 4, 2012 | Laura Keeley | Email

Add Strawberry Crest to the list of Hillsborough County schools that are looking for new head football coaches.

After one year and a 1-9 season, Gerold Dickens has resigned as the Chargers’ head coach, he said Wednesday night.

“I appreciate the opportunity with Strawberry Crest and from the administration,” he said. “We decided to move in different directions.”

In addition to the on-the-field struggles — the Chargers’ only win was against 0-10 Leto — Dickens was suspended for the Oct. 28 game against Sickles for using racially sensitive language at a practice. Strawberry Crest principal David Brown said the school conducted an internal investigation after a parent and a player complained to athletic director Melvin Williams. Dickens, who is African-American, apologized to both the players and the parents who attended a parents meeting in early October.

At the time of the suspension, Brown defended Dickens, saying the incident raised “no concern” in Dickens’ ability to lead the Chargers’ program.

Dickens took over last fall after former coach Todd Donohoe resigned abruptly in the summer. Donohoe coached the program in its first two years and amassed an 8-12 mark, including a 5-5 season in 2010.

There are five other schools in the county looking for coaches — Brandon, Blake, Riverview, Chamberlain and Lennard. Dickens said it was too early to say if he would apply for any of those openings.

“Hopefully there will be other opportunities out there,” Dickens said.

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