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Hernando receives 38 applicants

The advertisement for Hernando's football head coaching vacancy officially closed Wednesday with 38 applicants, but none of the applications obtained by the Times was from current coach Rodney Byrd.

Ken Pritz, who will take over at Hernando as principal July 1, said Byrd had submitted his resume Wednesday though Pritz had not seen it. Byrd is currently running spring practice and, like every Hernando coach, was invited to reapply for his job.

Pritz said the committee will narrow the group to six finalists and two alternates. Interviews are expected to be completed by May 30 when the committee will vote on the top three then give Pritz their recommendations.

"We're trying to do as fair a process as we can," Pritz said. "The committee has good football knowledge. I know they'll do a good job finding the right person."

The resumes included 18 instate candidates. Here are some notables:

• Port St. Joe coach John Palmer is a former Leopard who graduated in 1983. He is the son of former Leopards coach Dub Palmer and has been the athletic director and coach at Port St. Joe since 2001, where he won the Class A state title in 2005. He also held head coaching jobs at Eustis (1999-2001) and Bronson (1995-99) and was considered a favorite during the Hernando coaching search.

• Lakewood coach Otis Dixon has led the Spartans since 2005 and guided them to their first winning season in six years with a 6-4 finish, narrowly missing the playoffs. He is a Clearwater graduate and played four seasons at USF under coach Jim Leavitt.

• Former King coach Joe Severino stepped down last year after seven seasons after going 26-48. He led King to playoff victories in 2000 and 2001. He also coached at Tampa Bay Tech and Gaither and recently applied for the Sunlake opening last year.

• Celebration coach Eddie Carnley, who also is the athletic director, has 26 years of coaching experience, mostly in Mississippi.

• Hernando assistant Craig Everhart, who coached wide receivers and special teams. He listed Byrd as his top reference.

• George Goff, who served as an assistant under Matt Smith also was a candidate in 2007.

• Springstead assistant Mark Lee spent one season on the Eagles staff and has spent all of his career as an assistant coach.

The resumes included 20 out-of-state candidates from places such as Canada, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina. Some had coached state title teams while others listed references such as Galen Hall, Tommy Tuberville and Mickey Andrews.

Hernando receives 38 applicants 05/14/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 1:07pm]
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