Tom Shaneyfelt's name has become synonymous with girls basketball. He has led Clearwater’s program to eight state final four appearances, and four runnerup finishes. His 650 wins rank in the top 20 in the state among boys or girls coaches.
Now Shaneyfelt wants to give boys basketball a shot at the school he turned into a girls’ powerhouse.
Clearwater released the names of candidates for the boys basketball position Tuesday. Shaneyfelt was among 75 applicants, who were mostly out-of-state. The job opened up two weeks ago when Allen Carden stepped down after four seasons.
"The desire to make that move was growing with me more and more," Shaneyfelt said. "I thought this would be a good time and the best opportunity I would have to do it. So I dusted off the 30-year-old resume and I'll put my interviewing skills to work and see what happens."
Clearwater principal Keith Mastorides said a committee will start interviewing candidates later this week and a coach could be named as early as next week.
Shaneyfelt coached the girls at Osceola for seven years (1986-92) before coming to Clearwater in 1993. He quickly turned the program into one of the best in the state. For the past few seasons, he also has coached his son, Christian, 11, in youth leagues.
"I never really differentiated between boys and girls basketball," Shaneyfelt said. "Coaching is coaching on any level. I really don't know anything about any of the other candidates or what my chances are of getting the job. It just felt the right time to see what's out there, and if not, I'd still coach girls basketball."
Two current boys basketball coaches in the area, Wiregrass Ranch's Jeremy Calzone and Plant City's Wardell Chambers, both applied, as did former Palm Harbor University coach Mike Walters and former Pasco coach Poncho Broner.
Other noteworthy candidates were Clayton State coach Gordon Gibbons, who previously coached the Tampa Bay Thunderdawgs (2000-01) and Florida Southern (1990-2000), and former Lake Howell standout Joey Rodriguez, who played four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth.
The list had candidtates from 27 states and from as far away as England, where Steve Mergelsberg coached the University of Manchester. What the list did not have were a lot of local applicants. None of the current head coaches in Pinellas County applied for the position.
Here is the full list of candidates.
Jeffrey Anderson, Reggie Anderson, Anthony Aubrey, Michael Bentivegna, Kurt Bell, Marcus Berry, Chris Berry, Brent Bond, Poncho Broner, Jeremy Calzone, Earl Carson, Earl Caruthers, Wardell Chambers, Matthew Cline, Antonio Cunningham, Florilis Davis, Kris DeJarnette, Chris Dorsey, Joel Dreher, Kevin Dux, Derek Felder, Kristopher Foote, Gordon Gibbons, Mike Guastella, Charles Hadley, Andy Harre, Mike Heben, Glen Hefferman, Paul Hill, Donnie Holland, Zach Ingles, Mark Jackson, Ryan Johnson, John Johnson, Luther Justus, Julian King, Paul Lang, Matt Lawhead, Matthew Lipinczyk, David Mahurin, Nathan Martins, Josie Martinez, Theo McWhite, Steve Mergelsberg, Kyle Medeiros, Josh Miller, Kevin Miller, Nichollis Miller, Ron Mollet, Tim Pflug, Eric Perry, Andy Place, Bobby Poratta-Doria, Bob Purdy, Ryan Quinlan, Sean Rochester, Joey Rodriguez, Hernan Roldan, Dan Rosenfield, Larry Schellenberg, Tom Shaneyfelt, Brandon Siska, Ben Snyder, Brent Spiker, Christopher Stark, Greg Stephens, Durell Sykes, Danny Turner, Chris Walls, Mike Walters, Greg Watson, Donald Wedewer, Damion Whitsett, Ronnie Wilcox, Kurt Young.