It didn’t take long for Steve Dudley to get back into coaching.
Just a few months after resigning as football coach at St. Petersburg Catholic, Dudley was named to the same position at Shorecrest on Thursday. He takes over for Dave Moore, who coached for two seasons at the school before resigning after a 2-6 season.
“This is just a better fit," Dudley said. “I’m about eight blocks from here. The things are in place here to improve."
Dudley, 50, spent three seasons at St. Petersburg Catholic and went 14-18. He led the Barons to the playoffs in 2013's 8-4 campaign. Prior to that he was head coach at Canterbury from 2007-10.
Dudley was chosen over a group of 40-plus applicants. Former Northeast coach Mike Jalazo was also a finalist for the job.
“It was a very thorough search," Shorecrest athletic director Tripp Welbourne said. “Of all the candidates, it kept coming back to Steve. We think he’s the guy that can get us turned around."
Shorecrest hovered around 25 varsity players last season. The low numbers prompted Shorecrest to drop out of district play and become an independent this fall and likely for the next three seasons.
Dudley said he plans to get a weightlifting program started immediately. He also said he will assemble a coaching staff before the start of spring practices in May.
This will be the third time Dudley has taken over a losing program. He said he doesn’t mind the challenge.
“There’s just something about being the dark horse and the grind it takes," Dudley said. “It’s not complicated. It’s about being tough and reliable. We can’t control the talent we have. But what we can control is our attitude."