Hernando football coach latest to step down



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Fri. November 15, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Hernando football coach latest to step down

Hernando football coach Dwayne Mobley has resigned, Leopards athletic director Kevin Bittinger said Friday afternoon.

Bittinger said the grind of coaching a varsity program forced Mobley to miss events with his family, like his daughters’ volleyball games.

“He just wasn’t getting the time he felt he needed to spend with his family,” Bittinger said.

Mobley was a big-name local hire when the Leopards tapped him to replace John Palmer in 2012.

He scored a state-best 36 touchdowns for the Leopards as a 2,000-yard rusher in 1991 and graduated as the school’s all-time leading rusher. He won a national title as a fullback at Florida in 1996 and dominated as the head coach at Parrott Middle School.

Mobley sustained some of Palmer’s success with a solid 2012 season. The Leopards finished a brutal schedule at 6-5, made the Class 6A playoffs and reached the postseason for a school-record third consecutive season. Their season ended with a 60-3 loss to Gainesville in the first round.

Hernando stumbled this fall against a draining schedule. The Leopards were 3-7 and stuck in the middle of a tough Class 5A, District 6. They missed the playoffs and had their worst season since a three-victory campaign in 2008 – Palmer’s first year as head coach. The Leopards lost the county championship with Friday’s 41-20 loss to Springstead.

Hernando’s opening means three of the county’s five high schools are searching for a head football coach. Central and Mike Einspahr parted ways last week, and Nature Coast coach Charles Liggett resigned Tuesday.

Bittinger said Hernando plans to post the position Monday with hopes of conducting interviews after Thanksgiving and naming a new coach before winter break.

“I’m sure there are very qualified candidates out there,” Bittinger said.

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