High School Sports

In wake of coaching changes, Manatee High football coach pens letter for 'Hurricane football family'

Manatee High School football coach John Booth late Monday posted on Facebook the following "letter to the Manatee Hurricane football family:"

It has been a whirlwind since I was fortunate enough to come home and become head coach at the one place where I have always wanted to be. I can remember growing up and dreaming about the day that I would to suit up and be on that field, as a Hurricane. I consider it an honor to be back with my brother coaching for this great program. With all that has gone on this season, and particularly the last week, I wanted to take time to share some thoughts with all our alumni, fans, friends and supporters.

I can still, so vividly, remember the moment when I was offered this positionThe sense of pride and huge sense of responsibility that I felt. However, several friends and family members had reservations with me taking the position. “It has all the things a coach dreads,” they said. “It’s always hard to go back home,” “you’re following a legend,” “there is so much turmoil going on.” Saying “no” was not an option, though. I consider myself a Manatee success story. A huge part of what I have been blessed to do and achieve began with what I learned playing for Coach Kinnan at MHS. Every single day I walk into Hawkins Stadium, I am reminded of what it means to be a Hurricane and what an incredible tradition we are building on. I’m constantly reminded of how blessed I am to be a part of this tradition. I owe it to those that came before me to give my all, every single day, to grow our program.

In the past week many people have asked me about our staff. What I can tell you is what I believe in and what my expectations are for my staff. I believe that we have a responsibility, above all, to help our players grow into men -men who will be responsible parts of our community and will grow to be good employees, leaders, husbands and fathers. Coaching is far more than just X’s and O’s. I believe we accomplish this by building personal relationships with our players, by being involved in their academics and lives away from football. These are full year responsibilities and expectations. I expect our coaches to be in contact and working with our players during season and out of season. In today’s game, there is no off-season. It is my expectation that our staff invest themselves into the lives of every player in our program. We work in a unique field where we have an opportunity to positively impact so many young men each and every day. It is my belief we do this by lifting them up, not by berating them and using profanity toward them. I believe it is our job to lead by example. As coaches, we must maintain the same standard of excellence that we expect from our playersin our work ethic, support and respect of every member of our program. To truly succeed we must be a family and team with a single vision and focus.

Change is never easy, and can be painful at times, but the reality is it is inevitable. I take comfort when I look at the great sports programs around the land. The New York Yankees have won 27 titles under 10 different managers, Alabama has 15 National Titles under 5 different head coaches, and the Green Bay Packers hold 13 championships by 4 head coaches. The common denominator? They are all great PROGRAMS. The name on the front of the jersey is bigger than any individual, and that is true of Manatee as well. It is the history, the players, the coaches, the community, our boosters and our fans that make Manatee Football one of the nation’s elite. That is why our tradition will continue.

As we move forward, I ask that you support us and give us the opportunity to prove ourselves. On August 28th when we take the field in Hoover, Alabama against the three time defending Alabama state champions we will be ready. I hope that you will join us as we continue the great tradition of Manatee football.

Sincerely,Coach John Boothc/o 2000

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