Photo via Western High School Media Crew
By: Jesse Nadelman (Staff Writer) and Jean Dubuisson (Co-founder)
It’s the off-season in South Florida, and that means a lot of movement between personnel. Most notably, some schools will be looking for new coaches no matter the circumstances. As ESPN does in college, R.M.F. Magazine will mock a search firm for each relevant varsity boys head coaching vacancy, noting candidates the school may hire, who they should hire, and any other outside possibilities that could fill the job.
Let’s have some fun.
Western High School (Davie)
This week, Western High School announced that it relieved head coach Roger Reader and his staff of their duties coming off of a 12-11 season this past year. Western went 4-19 the previous year, but had made regionals the two years previous. The Wildcats play in a 9A district with Cypress Bay, Piper, and South Plantation.
Here’s a look into who we – hypothetically – think could be some options to take the helm at Western.
*Note: None of this is based on info R.M.F. Magazine has heard, but rather just fun speculation.
Take a swing at
*Candidates that are huge long shots for the job, but hey it’s always worth a call to ask.
Jason Looky, Cypress Bay Head Coach:
Looky is one of the most underrated coaches in South Florida. He’s helped turn Cypress Bay into a perennial 9A contender, and built it from the ground up into a well respected South Florida program. But before Cypress Bay, Looky’s first head coaching job was at Western. Would Looky go back to the Lightning’s hated rival to help turn that program into a contender like he did at Cypress? It’s a fun thought, but highly unlikely.
Darrance Gillion, Northeast Head Coach:
Gillion has been head coach at Northeast for a long time and has had a ton of success there, but now sits in a district with Boyd Anderson and two-time defending state champion Dillard. Not to mention, he has Miami Norland in the way on the road to Lakeland. It’s almost impossible he would leave the job he has at Northeast to take over Western. But would the possibility of playing in a weak 9A region with the chance to turn the Wildcats into a contender intrigue him? Just a fun thought.
*Candidates that we could see as good fits for the job.
Kenneth Kelly, Broward College Assistant Coach:
Kelly, the former head coach at Miramar, is currently an assistant coach at Broward College. Kelly, however, is also currently a teacher at Western. Already being a teacher there, would Kelly jump from JUCO to take over the Western program?
Chris Benanti, Taravella Head Coach:
This past season was the first losing season for Benanti since taking over Taravella, where he has had multiple regional appearances. The Trojans lost a good amount of seniors, and there has been turmoil within the program recently. It’s intriguing to think if Benanti, the son of legendary Douglas and Boyd Anderson coach Mike Benanti, could bring his infamous 1-3-1 zone a little south to Western and try and build the program up there. He would still be at a 9A school, but able to get out of a district with Coral Springs, Douglas, and Deerfield Beach.
Kris Dukic, Cardinal Gibbons Assistant Coach:
Dukic, who was head coach at Plantation for a year, became a Cardinal Gibbons assistant this year. There is the possibility he could take over the Gibbons program once Marty Seidlin retires, but nobody knows when that will be. It could be possible that Dukic decides to head back to a BCAA school and try and lead a Western program back into a contender.
Recommendation: Kelly. He has more experience than the other realistic candidates by coaching at the college level while also a former head coach at Miramar. He currently coaches under Bob Starkman at Broward College, one of the best in the business, and with him also currently teaching at Western, it makes too much sense.
Prediction: Kelly. With Kelly right in their backyard, it’s hard to see Western not making a push to get him. But if it’s not him, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be hired.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jesse Nadelman is an 18-year old reporter for R.M.F. Magazine who currently is a senior at North Broward Prep. He covers all of South Florida’s top high school basketball teams and events for R.M.F. Jesse will attend the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in the fall.
You could follow Jesse on twitter: @Jessenadelman