LAKEWOOD RANCH -- For Mic Koczersut, the timing couldn't have been better.
It's almost as if everything was in place when the man known as Coach K to his players was named the new head football coach for Lakewood Ranch on Wednesday.
Koczersut replaces Shawn Trent, the Mustangs' head coach for the past nine years. Under new School District of Manatee County rules, head coaches cannot be athletic directors, and Trent opted to step down from coaching.
"Shawn told me over the weekend about his decision, and we told the players on Monday," Koczersut said. "It's not a surprise. We kind of prepared for this. It was nothing that came out of the blue."
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Trent finished his Lakewood Ranch tenure with a 42-49 record after the Mustangs went 5-5 last season.
Koczersut has been Lakewood Ranch's offensive coordinator the past nine years. He held the same position at Palmetto High under head coach Bob Bowling for six years, leaving that program after the 2002 season.
The 45-year-old Indiana native preferred to remain an assistant because of his family, but now that his son, Mickey, will be a freshman at Lakewood Ranch he has the time.
"As you go through life, you are presented with challenges, and this is something I have wanted to do," Coach Koczersut said. "I am fortunate to be doing this at a school where I am comfortable and is backed by the community. It's a great opportunity and definitely exciting."
Koczersut will remain offensive coordinator and has named Carlton Hadley as his defensive coordinator. Hadley will take over the duties Trent held.
The best part for Coach K is that he has nine starters returning on offense, including senior quarterback Chad Rex, a third-year starter.
Coach K comes in under what could be considered a new era with longtime coaches Joe Kinnan of Manatee and Paul Maechtle from Southeast away from the sidelines.
"The whole county is undergoing a change, and our goal is make the playoffs," Koczersut said. "I am not against throwing the ball, and the kids enjoy more of an up-tempo game, which we might be using. We have some big offensive linemen coming back. The high school football scheme depends on the kids you have, and we are staying with what we had last year when we were in a shotgun a lot."
Hadley has been the Mustangs' defensive backs coach the past four years. Koczersut said he doesn't anticipate making any major changes to a defensive unit that includes six returning starters, including two players who are going into their third year as starters in linebacker Wanley Desire and defensive back Craig Bain.