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Next season will be the last for Clearwater football coach Tom Bostic

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Tue. July 17, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Next season will be the last for Clearwater football coach Tom Bostic

Longtime Clearwater football coach Tom Bostic's retirement from coaching has been rumored for years, but it seems to have been made official this week with a posting on the Florida High School Athletic Association's website.

According to a classified ad placed by Clearwater, the Tornadoes are looking "for a head varsity football coach in waiting.''

The ad states that the new hire would serve as an assistant football coach in 2012, "with the intent" to take over the program for 2013. The deadline for submitting a resume is Friday.

"This has been going through my mind for a while," Bostic said about stepping down. "We'll have to see what happens, but this will probably be my last season. I talked to the administration and this seemed to be the best route to take."

Bostic, 67, will be heading into his 30th season as head coach in the fall. His career record is 167-138.

Bostic started coaching in 1967 in New Jersey and was a head coach there from 1973-78. He came to Florida in 1979 and was the head coach at Boca Ciega for three seasons before deciding to transfer to be an assistant for Clearwater coach John Nicely in 1982.

A year later, Bostic was named head coach. And he has never left.

He won at least seven games 10 times in his first 17 seasons with the Tornadoes, including playoff berths from 1995-99.

But since 2000, Clearwater has managed to finish above .500 just once, in 2010. The Tornadoes were 5-5 in 2002 and 4-6 in 2003, earning playoff spots each year. But they haven't been back since.

It is unclear if, following the 2012 season, Clearwater will consider anyone outside the program for the head coaching position.

"I think the plan is to basically see what's out there," Bostic said. "If someone is hired they would be able to take over in the spring, at least that's my understanding."

Staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report.

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