Ryan Pannone, whose coaching stints at two area private schools were marked by success and controversy, is no longer in the area.
Pannone has stepped down after only a few months at Brandon's Faith Baptist Christian School to take an assistant coaching job at Wallace State, a junior college in Hanceville, Ala. He formally stepped down as Eagles coach Dec. 1 but stuck around as an assistant until this week.
Pannone, who wasn't on the Faith Baptist faculty, said some "unforeseeable" expenses incurred by the program made it difficult for the school to compensate him. Among them: skyrocketing costs of gym rental. Faith Baptist doesn't have its own basketball facility.
"They just couldn't afford to pay me," Pannone said. "Faith Baptist didn't do anything intentionally; I have no bad feelings. The situation was out of their control."
Kyle Ohmen, Pannone's brother-in-law, has replaced him as coach of the 19-6 Eagles high school team. Kenny Gillion, a Faith Baptist staffer and coach of the South Florida-based Team Breakdown AAU squad, remains coach of the Eagles' prep school team.
Faith Baptist athletic director Gene Reynolds confirmed Pannone's departure from the school was amicable.
An Oldsmar Christian alumnus, Pannone spent five seasons at his alma mater, watching 20 of his players sign college scholarships. During that span, he also worked as an individual skills trainer with noted NBA player development guru David Thorpe.
His team opted out of the Florida High School Athletic Association to play a national schedule, but Pannone - never shy about trying to attract players from nearby schools - was publicly criticized for trying to turn the program into a national basketball factory.
He made a splash upon his arrival at Faith Baptist, quickly attracting three eventual Division I signees - Wharton's A.J. Astroth (Vanderbilt) and Xavier Owens (Mount St. Mary's) and Durant's Andre Nation (James Madison) - to his prep school program.
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TC lineman to Valparaiso
Tampa Catholic C Mike Scheerhorn has committed to Valparaiso, a FCS (formerly Division I-AA) school in Indiana, his father, Jeff, said. Scheerhorn visited the school last weekend.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Scheerhorn was part of the line that created space for running backs to average 176 yards per game. According to his father, one reason Scheerhorn chose Valparaiso was to help turn around the program. The Crusaders were 1-10 last season.
"They had everything he was looking for athletically and academically," Jeff said.
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Titans DL chooses JC in New Mexico
Tampa Bay Tech DL Kadesh Reaves, whom coach Jayson Roberts referred to as the heart of the Titans' defense, has committed to New Mexico Military Institute, a junior college, Roberts said.
Reaves, who commuted from Plant City and played all four years at TBT, recorded 54 total tackles from his nose guard position, 41/2 sacks, one caused fumble and one recovered fumble that he returned 72 yards for a touchdown. He recorded a safety in the Titans' 37-0 playoff win against Brandon.
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Dragons DE White commits to FAMU
Jefferson DE David White has committed to Florida A&M, coach Jeremy Earle said. White, at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, amassed 29 total tackles, two sacks one caused fumble and one fumble recovery and took some snaps on the offensive line. White is the fourth Dragon to commit this year, joining DL Tyriq McCord (Miami), DB Will Watson (Bowling Green) and WR Adrian Jenkins (FIU).