High School Sports

Braden River will get new football coach

EAST MANATEE — Braden River has become the latest local school looking for a head football coach.

Ed Volz, who took over the program the day before last spring’s practices began, has stepped down to serve as the new head coach at Sarasota.

The Pirates went 7-5 under Volz this past fall, reaching the Class 3A-Region 3 semifinals for the second consecutive season.

Volz served as Braden River’s offensive coordinator in 2008, when the Pirates qualified for the playoffs for the first time in program history.

He was promoted to interim head coach on April 30 after Josh Hunter resigned in the aftermath a March 21 vehicle accident in which Pirates assistant coach Doug Garrity was killed. Hunter was the driver, and is scheduled to stand trial this spring on a charge of DUI manslaughter.

Volz led Braden River through the spring season, which ended with a 35-20 win over Riverview. He shed the interim tag and was named the program’s second coach June 4.

“He came in and helped us through a difficult time,” said Braden River athletic director Bob Bowling. “We appreciate what he did for us.”

A former varsity assistant at Sarasota, Volz replaces Bob Perkins, who stepped down in December. The Sailors went 1-9 last season, competing in Class 5A-District 10 with Manatee, North Port, Riverview and Venice.

Volz, who declined to comment Tuesday, previously served as the head coach at Hampton Bays High School on Long Island, and also coached at Iona College and Stonybrook University, both of which are on Long Island.

The next steps for Braden River, Bowling said, include taking applications and forming a hiring committee.

“We’ll go from there,” he said.

Braden River is the second Manatee County school to lose its football coach within weeks — Palmetto’s Raymond Woodie stepped down in late December to become the new defensive line coach at Western Kentucky.