Southeast High’s search for its next head football coach is nearing its conclusion.
Athletic director Joe Collis told the Bradenton Herald late Wednesday that the search committee has narrowed the 55 candidates to four finalists.
They are Keith Chattin, Scottie Littles, Jesse Norris and Brett Timmons.
Chattin spent 2012-16 as Ruskin Lennard’s head football coach and went 18-34 over five seasons. Former Southeast High player Matt Kitchie led Lennard this past season.
Littles recently wrapped his second season as head coach at King’s Fork High in Suffolk, Va. The Bulldogs went 11-2, losing in Virginia’s Class 4A region finals this season.
Norris is an assistant coach at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas and previously was Plantation High’s head coach in South Florida. Norris was dismissed as Plantation’s head coach after a 2-8 record in 2016, his lone season in charge of the Colonels.
Timmons’ ties to Southeast are well-documented. He played on the Seminoles’ back-to-back state championship teams in the mid-1990s before playing collegiately at Tulane University.
Timmons built Out-of-Door Academy’s football program, becoming the Thunder’s first head coach and leading ODA to the 2009 Class 1B state semifinals. Timmons also became ODA’s athletic director toward the end of his tenure at the Lakewood Ranch school. He parted ways with ODA in 2015.
Collis said the quartet’s next step is a community forum at the school on Thursday, which was closed to the media.
The search committee will factor that forum and their interviews into account before making a decision on Southeast’s next head coach. That decision is expected no later than next week, Collis said.
One name that didn’t make it as a finalist is arguably Southeast’s greatest player, Peter Warrick. The Manatee County legend rose to even more prominence during his time at Florida State, which led to an NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks.
Warrick was an assistant coach at Southeast for a couple seasons prior to legendary head coach Paul Maechtle’s retirement in 2013 and is currently an assistant coach at Creekside High in Fairburn, Ga.
Since Maechtle’s departure, the Noles have had two head coaches leave after two seasons apiece. John Warren left after the 2015 season, which culminated with a playoff berth.
Former Southeast quarterback Rashad West resigned on Nov. 9 following a promising season heading for a playoff berth before an academically ineligible player produced six forfeits, which included five victories.