Kenneth Crawford steps down at Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Longtime Pinellas Park head coach Kenneth Crawford has stepped down as the Patriots’ lead man. In a corresponding move, assistant Max Smith has been promoted to the role as his replacement.  

Pinellas Park’s official football Twitter account made the announcements and it comes after another strong season by Crawford and his team. The Patriots finished the 2021 campaign with a record of 9-2 and clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Pinellas Park ended up winning the Class 6A District 11 championship and the Patriots' only losses on the season came against Northeast in the regular season and Hillsborough in the postseason. Crawford leaves the school as its winningest head coach, with 95 wins after 13 seasons.  

Replacing Crawford is Smith, who has been a head coach twice before in Pinellas County, with stops at Dunedin and Boca Ciega. Smith served as Pinellas Park’s offensive coordinator this past season after serving as the head coach at Boca Ciega from 2014-2020. He served as head coach at Dunedin for 2011-2012.

The Patriots are slated to return many key starters from this past season’s district championship team. That list includes leading rusher Isaiah Hampton, who rushed for a team-high 1,301 yards and scored nine touchdowns. The defense will be losing a couple of its top tacklers in linebackers Garrick Ponder and Malachi McCalip, who both had over 100 tackles.  

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