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Tampa Bay area high school coaches with short tenures

Today we recognize what we had planned to call our All-Cup-of-Coffee Team, until we realized that title wouldn't be accurate. These high school coaches didn't even stick around long enough for the pot to brew. This past week alone, two Tampa Bay area coaches exited (one on his own accord, the other by force) before coaching a game. They join a list of other prominent short-timers in the prep ranks. Here they are (in descending chronological order):

Steve Thompson, boys basketball, Gulf

Approximate tenure: one month

What happened: A 400-game winner in a career stretching from Mississippi to Tennessee, Thompson resigned last week. In a cryptic news release, new Gulf athletic director Travis DeWalt said Thompson "has made the decision to forego his opportunity at GHS to attend to personal matters back home in Louisville (Ky.)."

Jerrell Cogmon, football, Zephyrhills

Approximate tenure: four months

What happened: As St. Petersburg Times staff writer Izzy Gould documented at length last week, Cogmon was forced out amid an investigation into recruiting allegations in his program. In documents obtained by the Times that detail Pasco County's findings, Cogmon admitted communicating with the dad of Pasco quarterback D.J. Clower. Days before Cogmon's dismissal, a ZHS volunteer assistant was let go after acknowledging contact with Wesley Chapel players. Cogmon, hired in early April to become the first black football coach in ZHS history, has vowed to fight his dismissal, indicating the nasty fallout could last longer than his tenure.

John Colbert, football, Chamberlain

Approximate tenure: two months (and we're being generous)

What happened: Hired in early April over 16 other applicants to replace all-time winningest Hillsborough County coach Billy Turner, Colbert quit days after spring practice ended. In late May, he phoned Chiefs athletic director Richard Scionti to say he was quitting for "personal reasons." Joe Severino, Colbert's offensive line coach, replaced him, formally becoming the Chiefs' third coach since March.

Jonathan Reinebold, baseball, Freedom

Approximate tenure: six months

What happened: A former player at Army, Reinebold walked away in March after 10 games with the Patriots, telling the Times that "it was clear to me that I did not have the support of the parents or the administration."

Mike Boza, cross country, Leto

Approximate tenure: 10 months

What happened: Nothing scandalous. Boza, who led Jesuit to four boys cross country state titles in eight seasons, took a job as head of Leto's social studies department in summer 2006. He coached Jesuit that fall (and Leto girls track the following spring), with the intention of taking over Leto's once-proud boys cross country program in 2007. By May, however, he had left the west Tampa school for a chance to teach advanced-placement classes and coach boys cross country at Plant. Before exiting Leto, however, Boza reportedly had raised thousands for the Falcons program, indicating he had intended to stay for a while.

Tony Vasquez, boys basketball, Hernando

Approximate tenure: two months

What happened: A 1,000-point scorer at Hernando in the mid 1970s, Vasquez resigned from his dream job in July 2007 after Brooksville police arrested him on charges of exposing himself to an undercover officer at a park. The following April, Vasquez, who maintained his innocence all along, was acquitted after a daylong trial.

Paul Burke, wrestling, Countryside

Approximate tenure: eight months

What happened: Burke, an ex-Brandon wrestler hired to replace legendary Cougars coach Dave Frayer in June 2004, was gone by the following January after an allegation of misconduct. An assistant principal took over for the remainder of the 2004-05 season.

Video series

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Tampa Bay area high school coaches with short tenures 08/15/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 15, 2009 8:45pm]
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