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Wiregrass Ranch hires two coaches, loses one

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Fri. August 12, 2011 | Matt Baker | Email

Wiregrass Ranch has hired two coaches but is looking for a third.

The Bulls hired John Gant as their new girls basketball coach, athletic director Dave Wilson said Friday.

Gant should be familiar to Wiregrass Ranch parents. His son, John Michael Gant, pitched for the Bulls and was picked by the Mets in the 21st round of June's Major League Baseball draft. His daughter swims and played junior varsity basketball.

Gant takes over for Greg Finkel, who resigned in July after a recruiting investigation by the Florida High School Athletic Association.

“We felt very confident with him taking our program after going through a rough past summer and stuff,” Wilson said. “Greg (Finkel) did a great job of building the program to where it is. I thought John was the guy that could continue moving us forward.”

The FHSAA initially fined Wiregrass Ranch $12,525 for recruiting violations but cut the amount in half after the Bulls took steps to clean up the program.

Gant has coached girls basketball in high school and AAU in Georgia. Wilson said he will not otherwise be employed by the district.

“I think he brings a maturity that our program needs…” Wilson said. “He’s got a good background. He knows the kids already, which is helpful.”

The Bulls also hired Mike Horrigan as the new boys golf coach. Horrigan, a science teacher, knows the program well.  His son, Logan, is expected to be the team’s top golfer this year. The team has won back-to-back Sunshine Athletic Conference championships.

“It’s a rebuilding year somewhat, but they’re not at the bottom of the barrel by any means,” Wilson said.

Wiregrass Ranch is still looking for a girls golf coach after its coach resigned Monday. Wilson said the school will be posting the job soon and will begin interviews after that.

“That will be coming down shortly also,” Wilson said.

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