When Bill Vonada took over as football coach at Springstead, he promised his administration that it wouldn’t find a coach who would work harder.
“After 15 years,” Vonada said Friday night, “I’m no longer able to make that guarantee any more.”
That’s why the longest tenured coach in the North Suncoast has decided to retire. Vonada announced his decision to his team Friday afternoon.
He said he’s stepping away from the program to spend more time with his family.
“It’s just time …” Vonada said. “It’s been a very big burden for my family to carry for years.”
When Vonada took over the Eagles in 1998, he was the school’s third coach in four seasons. But he brought stability — and wins — to the Eagles as he became the dean of North Suncoast coaches.
Springstead finished 79-75 in his tenure with four playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2010 region semifinals.
This fall, he led the Eagles to nine regular-season wins and the Class 6A, District 6 title—- the school’s first since 1996 — before falling to Ocala Vanguard in the region quarterfinals.
“We’re really hitting our stride,” said Vonada, 48.
Vonada will remain a PE teacher at Springstead. He said he doesn’t intend to become an assistant coach at the school but hasn’t ruled out a return to coaching eventually.
He said he has recommended that school administrators promote defensive coordinator and weightlifting coach Mike Garofano to head coach. Garofano has served as an Eagles assistant for a decade.
Principal Susan Duval could not be reached for comment.
Springstead becomes the fourth North Suncoast coaching position to become open this season. Wesley Chapel and Wiregrass Ranch have begun interviews for their positions, and Gulf was accepting applications this week to replace coach Tom Carter.
Since March 2010, every public school in Hernando County has changed coaches at least once.