Dixie Hollins football coach Mike Morey has resigned to spend more time with his family, according to principal Dan Evans.
The Rebels moved quickly to find a replacement, hiring offensive coordinator Shannon Brooks as interim head coach for 2012.
“Mike’s decision was based on some health problems related to his family,” Evans said. “He has a wife and two young girls, and he spent a lot of years balancing his football commitment and family commitment. He came to me Monday and said it was time.”
Morey was 60-82 in 15 seasons with playoff appearances in 2004 and ’05. Morey, who is out of town, confirmed via text that he stepped down but did not want to comment until next week.
Evans said Morey recommended Brooks take over the program. Brooks has head coaching experience, having started the Canterbury football program and running the team in 2005 and ’06.
“We’re at a time where it would be too late to put together a coaching search,” Evans said. “We believe Coach Brooks was the right fit at this time for continuity reasons and also because we believe in him as a coach. There’s never a good time for this to happen, especially since football is now more of a year-round sport. But we have an offense and a defense in place and it seemed right to promote from within.”
Brooks joined the staff last year as offensive coordinator. The Rebels have done well this offseason with convincing wins over Calvary Christian in a spring scrimmage and Central in the spring game. Dixie Hollins also was one win from reaching the semifinals of a 7-on-7 tournament at Plant City two weeks ago.
“I got back into coaching in hopes of taking over a program some day,” Brooks said. “I never anticipated it being right now and happening so fast. Morey gave some of a hint that he was going to step down last week, but it still threw us all off guard.
“We have a lot of good things going, but I want to use this season and dedicate it to Morey and what he’s meant to the school rather than look at it as opportunity for me to become a head coach again.”
Evans said the interim tag could be lifted later this year.
“We made this decision with the thinking that he could turn this into a permanent position,” Evans said. “The interim role allows me to spend time and review Coach Brooks. But he has done a great job in the time that he has been here and infused a lot of energy into the program.”
Staff writer John C. Cotey contributed to this report.