A pair of newly signed head coaches in Broward are looking to brighten the future of their respective programs.
Roger Mitchell, now at Piper, and Devin Bush, who was promoted to head coach at Flanagan — both who accepted their jobs within the past 10 days — present contrasting backgrounds and will be faced with contrasting challenges.
The backgrounds: Bush, a former first-round pick in the 1995 NFL Draft as a safety, brings a college football national championship (1993 Florida State Seminoles) and a Super Bowl title (St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV; he also played with the Atlanta Falcons that lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII). As of late, he’s spent the past five years as co-defensive coordinator with Flanagan.
Mitchell has spent his last 25 years coaching high school football in both Dade and Broward. Most recently, he’s been the defensive coordinator at South Broward for the last eight years. He reached out to Piper when he heard about the opening.
“I’m bringing a wealth of experience,” Mitchell said. “I’m bringing a staff of football coaches that can really turn things around.”
Included in that staff that he assembled and hand-picked will be offensive coordinator Rick Divita, a long-time friend of Mitchell’s that go back to old Dade County battles when Divita was at Miami Beach and Mitchell was with Hialeah.
“I have a tremendous deal of respect for him,” Mitchell said of Divita.
The biggest challenge for Mitchell will be to turn his Bengals (3-7, 1-4 District 11-8A in 2012) around and out of the cellar of the six-team district.
He’s optimistic he can turn things around and feels the talent on the team is adequate to convert the football culture at the school.
“I think there’s an opportunity for us to sneak in there and make some noise,” he said. “It’s a matter of putting together a good coaching staff and getting the kids to buy in.”
For Bush, he was surprised when he was promoted to head coach.
“When they told me I was so happy; I was so excited,” Bush said. “I wanted to be a head coach someday, but I knew [Don] Simon was there so i never thought I’d be head coach at Flanagan.”
Simon resigned unexpectedly, and Bush was called upon.
He takes over a 6-5 football team that finished third in District 12-8A. Now the challenge comes in getting over Miramar and Cypress Bay.
“It’s an exciting district,” he says. “Every game there’s going to be a lot of excitement around the matchups, there’s going to be scouts out there.”
Flanagan athletic director Larry Brown said of why he made the promotion: “He worked really well with the kids. He has good rapport with the kids, and based on his experience, he was a perfect fit.”
District 13-4A quarterfinal — University School 8, Pine Crest 4
WP: Linette Flores (14-5). LP: Lopez. Top performers: Martinez 3-3, 3 RBI. Flores 2-3, RBI. US 14-5.
• American Heritage d. Somerset 25-10, 25-7, 23-25, 25-8: Tyler Gordon 12 kills, 31 points, 10 aces, 5 digs. Greg Holodak 17 kills, 3 digs. James Diamond 2 kills, 17 service points, 16 assists.