John Scargle named new head coach at Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — There’s a new man in charge at Hernando High School, as the Leopards have tabbed Countryside High defensive coordinator John Scargle as the program’s next head football coach. 

Hernando made the announcement via their athletics website. Scargle replaces Earl Garcia III, who stepped down as the Leopards’ head coach back in December. Garcia III is now the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Plant High School in Tampa. 

The Leopards reached the postseason the last two seasons under the watch of Garcia III, including 2021’s 6-5 campaign that ended with a Class 4A region quarterfinal loss to Bushnell South Sumter. Scargle, also a former head coach at Palm Harbor University High, is the only new head football coach in Hernando County this off-season. 

“We are so excited to welcome Coach Scargle and his family to our Leopard family,” Hernando principal Leechele Booker said in a statement via Hernando’s athletics website. 

“We wanted our next head coach to be someone that plans to invest time into our students, football program and Brooksville community. We look forward to what Coach Scargle will bring to our school and football program for many years to come. We heard nothing but positive responses from his references, including a coach from the Dallas Cowboys that said we found the right guy for our school and program.” 

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