Nine days after veteran Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez formally announced his resignation, the school announced it has chosen offensive coordinator Mike Gregory to replace him.
A history teacher and media/technology specialist at TC, Gregory, 26, becomes the program's 15th coach. A 2005 River Ridge High graduate and former Royal Knights quarterback, he just wrapped up his third season as coordinator, during which the Crusaders (8-4) averaged more than 230 yards a game.
"Honestly, it's a dream come true," said Gregory, who is married but has no children. "Not many guys can say they've become a head coach at as young of an age as I am. I'm very honored, humbled. It's a special opportunity because I know the tradition of our program. I believe in the mission of the school and it's very dear to me."
Nurtured by a coaching family, Gregory's dad (also named Michael) was a River Ridge coach for a number of years; and his uncle, Vincent Sinagra, is coach at Division III Anna Maria College in Massachusetts. A UCF graduate, Gregory spent three years on the staff at Orlando University High before joining the Crusaders in 2009.
He inherits a team that returns 16 starters, as well as the entire coaching staff.
"I've spoken with everybody on staff and everybody's on board," Gregory said.
"It's a great group of kids, and honestly we feel like we have some unfinished business, so it is kind of a situation of if it's not broke, don't fix it. That's not to say I'm not going to put my own stamp on program, but we're going to continue to build this thing."
Photo provided by Tampa Catholic