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Lakewood football coach Otis Dixon resigns

CCC’s Paul Freedman had six catches in the spring game.

CCC’s Paul Freedman had six catches in the spring game.

Lakewood football coach Otis Dixon resigned Monday from his coaching and teaching position.

Javon Turner, the school's athletic director, said the decision was Dixon's, but it did not come as a surprise.

"It was something we could see coming," Turner said. "We wish Otis and his family the best."

Dixon, 29, said he is going into the private sector with a new job in the insurance industry, which will leave him more time to spend with his 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

"I'll make pretty much double the money and in fewer hours," Dixon said.

Dixon also is heading up the fledgling USF Gridiron Alumni Association, a 2-month-old group currently made up of 11 former Bulls hoping to create a network to land jobs for the school's former football players, similar to organizations in Miami and Gainesville.

"It's a fraternity," Dixon said. "Right now, we're just like when USF was working out of trailers."

A former all-county football and baseball player for Clearwater and the first recruit in USF history, Dixon was hired as Lakewood's football coach in 2005.

In three seasons, Dixon was 11-19, including a 6-4 record last season, the Spartans' first winning season since 2002. Lakewood just missed a playoff spot by falling to Bradenton Southeast in a three-way tiebreaker.

This spring, Dixon applied for the head coaching job at Hernando. He said he thought the position would have been filled faster and decided to stay at Lakewood once spring practice had started.

"I have too much time invested in Lakewood," Dixon said at the time.

Turner hasn't set a deadline for applications but wants to move quickly. He prefers a coaching candidate who will teach on campus.

CCC's Freedman commits to Virginia

Clearwater Central Catholic receiver Paul Freedman orally committed to the University of Virginia on Saturday.

Freedman also had offers from Duke, Florida International, Indiana and Vanderbilt.

"This was my first visit, and I felt it was a great fit," Freedman said.

Freedman missed the first half of last season with a slightly separated left shoulder. He returned for the Marauders' stretch run for the playoffs.

In the spring game against Clearwater, he had six receptions. Freedman, a 6-foot-6 receiver, said he will be converted into a tight end in college.

Times staff writer John C. Cotey contributed to this report.

Lakewood football coach Otis Dixon resigns 06/16/08 [Last modified: Friday, June 20, 2008 3:57pm]

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