King hires McKinley Rolle as football coach



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Sat. January 25, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

McKinley Rolle resigned after three years as head football coach at Lecanto last year, looking for a change and a better opportunity.

He thinks he has both at King.

Rolle confirmed that he is the new head football coach of the Lions, saying he was offered the job Friday and accepted it Saturday afternoon.

"I did my research,'' said Rolle, who is 29. "I wanted to relocate to an area that had some potential athletes and was also a great place to live. I think King and Tampa is that."

Rolle is the older brother of former FSU safety Myron Rolle, and said he lived with and helped train his brother in England as Myron worked toward becoming a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and an NFL draft pick in 2009-2010.

Upon his return to the states, McKinley Rolle took the head coaching job at Lecanto at the age of 26 with no coaching experience to his name.

But in his second year at the perennial loser in 2012, Rolle managed to go 5-5, the school's first .500 season since 1999 and one of the few in program history. Rolle said the five wins were the second most in school history.

After a 2-0 start last fall, Lecanto lost their final eight games. Four of those losses were by a touchdown or fewer. Ironically, it was King's competitiveness during a 6-4 campaign the same season, including a one-point loss to Hillsborough last season, that attracted Rolle.

"I talked to (former) coach Al Davis and he told me it was a good, younger group,'' Rolle said. "If you look at their games last year, they were competitive; and as a coach, when you see that from a distance, it's attractive."  

Rolle played one season of Division I-AA football at LaSalle, and got his degree from St. John's and a Master's degree from FSU.

He will be a permanent substitue teacher at King until the fall, when he says he will teach physical education, and maybe driver's education, full time.

He will have a team meeting next week and hopes to begin instilling his coaching style -- an attacking offense and defense, making the opponent defend the whole field and getting the ball to his playmakers in the open field -- immediately. Most importantly, he said, he will stress fundamentals.

"If you look at all the teams that won state championships last year, yes, they had talent, but they were all very fundamentally sound,'' Rolle said. "That is definitely something we will be working on."

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