Wiregrass Ranch football coach Mike Lawrence resigns



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Wed. July 16, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

Wiregrass Ranch football coach Mike Lawrence resigns

Mike Lawrence has resigned after one season as head football coach at Wiregrass Ranch to take a job at a small college in Kansas, according to Bulls athletic director Dave Wilson.

Lawrence told Wilson he was resigning on Monday, and Wednesday around 6 p.m. he met with parents and players to make it official.

"(Leaving is) about having the opportunity to better my career and have a chance to grow in my career as a coach and also, maybe give other players that are down here that I see get looked over and everything else an opportunity to play at the next level," Lawrence said.

Lawrence is the second bay area coach to resign this month. John Booth left Bloomingdale for Bradenton Manatee on July 2 and was replaced swiftly by Brian Surcy.

The Bulls offensive coordinator for a season before ascending to the head job in December 2012, Lawrence beat out 27 other applicants. Lawrence helped guided the Bulls to a 4-6 record in his only season and helped snap the program's 22-game losing streak.

"(Wiregrass Ranch) will be a force to be reckoned with this year. I mean, just because I'm gone, doesn't mean I'm gone," Lawrence said.. "I'll still be there, still come down, support the team and do all I can to make sure that they continue to be successful.

"I'm proud of what they've done, I'm proud they've achieved, I'm proud of their continued growth and being able to be better young men and players. I'm just proud of everything that they've done. So, I'm excited to see them take the next step in their careers and season to be even better. They will be a good team, regardless of if I'm there or not."

Lawrence leaves Wiregrass Ranch for a job as the special teams coordinator and receivers coach at Bethany College, an NAIA school in Lindsborg, Kan. Lawrence is a Miami native but played for Kansas State and graduated in 1997.

Wilson said the job would be posted for five business days as required, and that interviews would likely begin next week. He said he was pleased with the staff Lawrence had put together, and "we have some really good people here that still want to be with the program."

Wilson said that doesn't necessarily mean the new coach will come from within. "If Mr. Dungy wants to call me and say he's interested...," Wilson said, chuckling.

Fall practice for all area football teams start on Aug. 4.

Times correspondent Jeff Odom contributed to this report. 


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