Dunedin officially announced that it has hired Max Smith as football coach.
Smith, a former assistant at Northeast and Pinellas Park, found out about the decision late Wednesday afternoon, then met with the team today.
"It's a great opportunity for me," Smith said.
Smith takes over for Jack Benson, who resigned in February after one season.
Of the six head coaching positions that were open in Pinellas County this offseason, Smith said he applied for two: Palm Harbor University and Dunedin.
He said the Falcons job appealed to him because he had worked with Dunedin principal Reuben Hepburn when the two were at Northeast.
"I knew Mr. Hepburn when he was an administrator at Northeast," Smith said. "I always had great respect for his work ethic and leadership skills."
Smith, 26, was a receiver at Mount Union from 2003-06. He won two national titles there and played opposite Pierre Garcon, now with the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2007, Smith moved to St. Petersburg and became an assistant with the Vikings. Last year, he came over to Pinellas Park as an offensive coordinator. The Patriots averaged 250 yards on offense despite losing quarterback Jesse Hevia to an injury early in the season.
"I originally was going to split play-calling duties on offense with Max last year," Pinellas Park coach Kenny Crawford said. "But Max put in so much time and had so much passion for it that I felt comfortable turning the keys over to him."
Smith takes over a Dunedin program that has won just three games in the past two seasons.