Northeast to interview six finalists for football position

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Mon. April 4, 2011 | Bob Putnam | Email

Canterbury coach Steve Dudley, Leto coach Mike Jalazo, and former FSU and NFL standouts Derrick Alexander and Buster Davis are among the six finalists Northeast will interview for its football position on Tuesday.

The Vikings, moving quickly to find a replacement for Jay Austin, pared its list of 64 applicants down to six this past week. A coach could be named as early as Wednesday, athletic director Greg Zornes said.

Dudley has been coach at Canterbury for four seasons and was named the Sunshine State Athletic Conference coach of the year in 2009 when he led the Crusaders to an undefeated season when they played as an independent. Dudley's uncle is St. Petersburg council member Bill Dudley, who was Northeast's wrestling coach for 33 seasons.

Jalazo, entering his second season at Leto, previously coached at Clearwater Central Catholic for eight seasons, making the playoffs his first six seasons there. Jalazo also was a finalist for the Palm Harbor University job this offseason. Leto athletic director Lauren Otero said it was "news" to her that Jalazo was a finalist at Northeast.

"I mean obviously we want to see him excel here and have the opportunity to turn things around, which isn't going to happen in one year," Otero said.

Alexander starred at FSU and was a first-round pick by the Vikings in 1995. Davis also played with the Seminoles and the Arizona Cardinals. He currently is a linebacker for Hartford in the United Football League.

The other finalists are Lakeland Victory Christian coach Jeff Schaum and Northeast defensive coordinator Kent Nash. Both are also finalists for the Gibbs job.

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