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Scott Hernon leaves Mitchell swimming for Countryside

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Thu. April 4, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Mitchell is looking for a new swimming coach after Scott Hernon stepped down to take the same position at Countryside, Mustangs athletic director Ian Mooney said Thursday in an email.

Hernon was Mitchell’s fifth coach in five years when he left Tarpon Springs to join the Mustangs. He remained a teacher at Countryside when he coached in Pasco County.

Hernon helped Mitchell’s girls team finish second at districts each of the last two years. He also mentored record-shattering swimmer Devin McCaffrey, a four-time state champion who signed with LSU.

Hernon replaces Ian O'Neil, who left the Cougars after 12 seasons to take over the swim program at Carlouel Yacht Club in Clearwater Beach.

"It was too good of an opportunity to pass up," O'Neil said. "I'm going to miss coaching at the high school level. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when the fall rolls around."

O'Neil had a successful run at Countryside with state runnerup finishes for the girls in 2006 and the boys in 2009. He also coached numerous state champions, including Matt Ellis and Melanie Margalis.

Mitchell has posted the job on the school district’s employment website, and Mooney said he hopes to fill the position as quickly as possible.

Staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report.

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