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County coaches chime in on Pasco opening

Ricky Thomas was a two-time, 1,000-yard rusher at Pasco (Class of 1974) before coaching his alma mater to a 45-29 record and three playoff berths in 1996-2002.

Dale Caparaso's ouster creates a vacancy at Pasco, but Thomas is not interested.

"Absolutely not," said Thomas, who this season coached Wiregrass Ranch's first-year team to a 2-6 . "I've put that behind me."

Other potential candidates who work in the county were on the fence Tuesday when asked about replacing Caparaso.

Ricky Giles, Pasco's baseball coach and longtime football assistant before taking this fall off, might consider applying, but recommended Dave Gaffney, another former Pasco assistant, for the job.

"I'm thinking about it," Giles said. "I know the kids and they probably would play for me. I tried to tell Dave Gaffney to do it. He probably would be my first choice."

Gaffney could not be reached for comment, but several other area coaches responded.

Land O'Lakes assistant Tom Carter, who applied for the post when Thomas left, might take another shot at it.

"I'm not sure," Carter said. "I would like to be a head coach. I don't think Pasco would be a bad place. They've got tradition, but their swagger seems to be gone a little bit."

Mike DeGennaro, River Ridge's girls weightlifting coach who coached that school's football team for six seasons before being replaced by former Land O'Lakes assistant Tim Stevens last spring, also might be interested.

"I would have to talk to some people and see what's going on over there," DeGennaro said. "Obviously there's problems or they wouldn't be looking for a coach."

Contact Steve Lee at or (352) 521-6517.