HOLIDAY — ’Tis the season for high school football head coaching vacancies to start popping up throughout Florida.
Pasco County isn’t immune to seeing turnover at the head coaching position year in and year out, and the county’s third opening just came up. Anclote High School Head Football Coach Matt Kingsley is stepping down as lead man after three seasons at the helm. Kingsley finished with an overall record of 12-17 as head coach of the Sharks.
Kingsley was the last holdover from Anclote’s original coaching staff. The school opened back in 2009. Kingsley was tapped as the defensive coordinator by the Head Coach Matt Wicks, who is now the Pasco County Schools’ athletic director, after Kingsley’s stint at Gulf Middle School.
When Wicks stepped down to accept the AD position, Kingsley was a natural fit to succeed him as head coach.
The Sharks went 3-6 in Kingsley’s initial campaign, in 2016. Despite the losing record, the Sharks got major offensive production from quarterback Tim Dallaire and running back Braxton Johnson. Anclote’s second season was by far Kingsley’s best. The Sharks finished 7-3 and were just outside of the playoff picture in Class 5A.
The 2018 season, however, was the most trying for Kingsley and his staff, as they had to battle the injury bug all year and fell to 2-8.
Kingsley will still coach in the Pasco County East-West All-Star Game, which will be his last time coaching any of the Anclote players.
There have been no immediate names being linked to the Anclote opening. But the job should prove attractive, as the school has seen success over the years. With two playoff appearances under its belt, Anclote has shown it has the talent to be a solid program.
Anclote’s opening is the third in Pasco County, following head coach exits at Sunlake and Pasco. Bill Browning, the only head coach 11-year-old Sunlake High School has ever had, stepped down after the 2018 season concluded. Pasco High School’s head coaching slot open when the school posted the job on the school district’s website nearly two weeks ago, and Tom McHugh confirmed that he had been fired. McHugh led the Pirates to the state semifinals in 2008 and 2011. He also coached Pirate players who made it to the NFL, including: cornerback Josh Johnson, who played for the Chargers and Jaguars and in the CFL; Ravens kick returner Janarion Grant; and Joey Ivie, a defensive tackle now with the Cowboys.