Hernando tapped a former Leopard for the football program’s last rebuilding effort.
With a solid foundation set, the school has charged another alum to continue the success.
Hernando hired former star running back Dwayne Mobley as its next head football coach, co-athletic director Kevin Bittinger said Friday afternoon. Mobley replaces John Palmer, a Hernando grad who led the team to its first district title since 1997 but stepped down last month for health reasons.
“He’s got a winning attitude,” Bittinger said of the Leopards’ new coach. “That’s what we really like about him.”
Mobley built his reputation as one of the state’s top players 20 years ago. He was the state’s top leading scorer in 1991, exploding for 36 touchdowns and rushing for more than 2,000 yards. He set school records in career rushing yards (4,041) and touchdowns in a game (seven) while earning the Times’ honor as all-Suncoast offensive player of the year as a senior.
He started six games on the Florida Gators’ 1996 national championship team and spent a little time on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ developmental squad.
“Wherever he’s gone, he’s been a winner,” Bittinger said. “We want to continue that.”
Mobley has served as the head coach at Parrott Middle School and was added to Hernando’s varsity staff as an assistant this spring. Hernando chose him over a pool of applicants including assistants Mark Latsko and Shawn Bingham.
The Leopards return plenty of talent from last year’s 8-3 team, including a familiar name for its new coach. LB Darren Hambrick’s father of the same name played with Mobley at UF.