Anclote High hires new football coach

Anclote High has hired Antony Smith to be its next head football coach.

HOLIDAY – Having a head coach stick around at Anclote High School hasn’t been easy the last several years. 

When Matt Wicks stepped down as the Sharks’ head coach after a 4-6 campaign in 2015, Anclote has struggled to keep the same lead man around for more than a few seasons. Matt Kingsley took over after Wicks and held on the longest. He stayed for three years, with the last being a 2-8 season in 2018. 

Kingsley moved on and eventually accepted a position at Mitchell High as an assistant. Former Gulf High head coach Jason Messamore succeeded Kingsley and lasted all of one season, with the Sharks finishing at 3-7 last year.

Now the Sharks have found their next head coach and fourth in program history.

Lake Weir High’s Antony Smith accepted the head coaching position, per Smith and Sharks’ athletic director Fannie Mae Hodges. Smith served as a coach with the Hurricanes’ girls basketball, cross country and flag football teams. This will be his first head coaching position for football on the varsity level. 

"This is an awesome opportunity as this is my first head coaching position," Smith said. "The location is beautiful, especially the stadium field. My plan is to start a new tradition here at Anclote and I can’t wait to get started." 

Anclote’s best season in recent years came under Kingsley in 2017. The Sharks finished 7-3 and just outside of the playoff picture in Class 5A.

Anclote went 3-6 in Kingsley’s first season in 2016 and his second season was by far the best, with the Sharks finishing 7-3 and just outside of the playoff picture in Class 5A. The 2018 season was by far the toughest for Kingsley and his staff, as they battled the injury bug all year.

The Sharks had another trying season during Messamore’s lone campaign in 2019. Anclote finished 3-7, with wins over Hudson, Gulf and Tarpon Springs.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.