Former Florida State star Derrick Alexander's plans have changed recently at Bishop McLaughlin. After football coach Matt Nardo stepped down Monday morning, the former defensive standout for the Seminoles and current defensive line coach for Bishop was promoted to head coach.
"It's been a tremendous change of events these past couple of weeks," Alexander said. "I was planning to coach with Nardo, who I thought was a very good coach, but now I find myself as the head man," Alexander said.
Nardo, who compiled a 7-3 record last fall in his first season as Hurricanes head coach, will be taking a coaching position at Marietta (Ohio) College. The Pioneers finished 2-8 in the Ohio Athletic Conference last year.
"The toughest thing was telling the kids that I was leaving," Nardo said. "I've coached these kids the past three seasons and telling them that I'll be leaving was just the toughest thing to do.
"Derrick will be taking over, and he'll do a great job. He has plenty of experience and has all the tools to be a great coach."
Alexander brings an impressive resume as a player. The former defensive end played in 10 games for the Seminoles during his redshirt freshman season in 1992 before bursting onto the scene as a sophomore in 1993. He recorded 100 tackles and eight tackles for a loss, both second most on the team. Alexander had 11 tackles against Nebraska in the Orange Bowl that season to help boost Florida State to the national championship.
As a junior at FSU, Alexander was named ACC Player of the Year.
"I'm going to take everything I've learned (at FSU) from Bobby Bowden, Mickey Andrews and Chuck Amato and instill that knowledge into this program," said Alexander, who was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2007. "I plan to not just make Bishop McLaughlin into one of the better programs in Pasco County, but in the tri-county area.
"There are some really good players here at Bishop McLaughlin and we're going to … install some more pro-style (offense) as well."
The 6-foot-4 end entered the NFL draft after his junior season and was chosen 11th overall by the Minnesota Vikings. Alexander played four seasons with the Vikings and spent one season with the Cleveland Browns before retiring. His most productive year came in his final season with the Vikings (1998), when he started all 16 games and recorded 71/2 sacks and 37 tackles.
Wrenn leaves Armwood baseball
Armwood baseball coach Mike Wrenn, who guided the Hawks to consecutive Class 5A state tournament appearances, has resigned to become pitching coach at Hillsborough Community College.
A 2000 Zephyrhills graduate and former Saint Leo player who spent three years in the Minnesota Twins system, Wrenn said he told Armwood athletic director Don Hill of his departure Monday.
"I've wanted to coach college for a long time, and hopefully this will be the move that helps me get to the next step," Wrenn said.
Wrenn, who coached the Hawks for five seasons, guided Armwood to the state tournament in 2009 and '10. Armwood fell to nationally ranked Pace in eight innings in the 5A state final in 2010.