MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
After two years in the frigid upper Midwest, former Sickles coach Pat O'Brien is back in the humid confines of his old haunt.
O'Brien has returned to the school after helping start the program at Division III Presentation College in Aberdeen, S.D. He'll teach at Sickles and serve as linebackers coach/special teams coordinator for Brian Turner, who replaced him in 2010.
"Things just didn't work out up there," said O'Brien, who coordinated the defense at Aberdeen, which won three games in 2011.
A former Guy Toph Award winner, O'Brien compiled a 40-72 mark in three separate stints in Hillsborough County, including two at Sickles. His '09 squad, widely considered the best in Gryphons history, went 8-3 and reached the Class 4A playoffs.
The O'Briens' move, while fortifying Turner's staff, could be a boon for Gryphons girls basketball as well. Cassidy O'Brien, a rising senior who played for Sickles as a freshman, returns after two seasons at Aberdeen Central High.