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Colbert resigns post as Turner's successor at Chamberlain

After less than two months on the job as Chamberlain head football coach, John Colbert resigned Tuesday afternoon.

Chamberlain athletic director Richard Scionti said he received a call from Colbert on Tuesday around 3:30 p.m.

Scionti said Colbert was departing for "personal reasons."

"It's surprising, it's disappointing," Scionti said. "There are a lot of emotions going on right now. … We thought we had the right person in place and we'll be looking for the right person again."

Assistant coach Otis Dixon, a former Lakewood head coach who worked with Colbert in Apopka, said he received a text message with the news. He said he was surprised by the move, as he felt the spring went well.

Colbert seemed content stepping into the big shoes of coaching legend Billy Turner, the winningest coach in Hillsborough County history with 254 victories.

"I'm humbled and I'm honored to be following in the footsteps of a coaching giant," Colbert said during spring practice. "I always wanted to coach at Chamberlain, but I never thought he would step down. When I left TBT, I always told myself that if I ever got back into head coaching, I wanted it to be at Chamberlain High School."

Scionti said he will advertise the position today and hopes to get a new head coach in "as soon as possible."

"We got through the spring but we have summer workouts coming up," Scionti said. "So the sooner the better. Some of the candidates we had before will probably reapply and I'm sure we'll get some new applicants."

One candidate who won't be reapplying is Brian Turner, son of Billy Turner, who coached 30 years at Chamberlain. Many assumed Brian Turner, a former Chiefs assistant, would be the choice to replace his father, but the decision to go with Colbert caused an acrimonious split between the school and the Turners.

Brian Turner, now offensive coordinator at Sickles, said Colbert's sudden resignation was "surprising and disappointing."

Turner said he has no interest at the moment in the Chamberlain job.

"No, I'm very happy where I'm at," he said.

Colbert resigns post as Turner's successor at Chamberlain 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:47pm]
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