If Mater Academy is to continue its rise to football prominence, it will do so under new leadership.
Lions’ athletic director Luis Sanchez confirmed to the Miami Herald that head coach Rocco Casullo has stepped down.
Casullo said he is pursuing an opportunity in South Florida that doesn’t involve coaching football, but did not specify details.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and my family that I couldn’t pass up,” Casullo said. “But I have a great staff at Mater and there are great kids there that are ready to keep it rolling. There’s a strong foundation in place for the future and they’re going to do a great job.”
Casullo led Mater Academy to a 22-4 record over the past two years and the Class 7A regional finals with each season ending with a loss to his former school, St. Thomas Aquinas.
Prior to his two years directing the Lions, Casullo went 47-9 in four seasons at Aquinas, leading the Raiders to a pair of state championships. Casullo was a defensive coordinator the previous eight seasons under then-Aquinas head coach George Smith.
Sanchez said former Mater coach Angel Estrada, who has been with the school in various roles for the past 10 years, will be its new coach. Estrada will coach the team alongside associate head coach Cordarion Clark, who was an assistant coach last season at Class 6A state champion Miami Carol City. Clark was Mater’s wide receivers coach during spring practices.