High School Football

This high school football coach resigns after one season. He’s starting a new challenge

After one season at Lakewood Ranch High School, head football coach Christopher Culton resigned to become North River High’s first football coach.

The school in Parrish is scheduled to open in August.

Former Lakewood Ranch athletic director Shawn Trent hired Culton in February 2018 to replace Mick Koczersut, who was a longtime assistant coach at various schools in Manatee County before becoming the Mustangs’ head coach in 2014.

Culton instituted the triple-option offense during his rebuilding project with the Mustangs, which was reminiscent of the offense he saw during his 14 seasons as an assistant coach at Navy.

Culton told Lakewood Ranch players he was stepping down on Tuesday, according to sources.

The Mustangs went 0-10 in his lone season as head coach.

Trent, who was the program’s head coach until 2014, when the school district changed its policy to not allow an administrator to also be a head coach at the same time, became North River’s first athletic director earlier this month.

Dustin Dahlquist, Lakewood Ranch’s new principal and former Palmetto High boys soccer coach, will have to fill both the athletic director and head football coaching positions.

Spring football begins April 22.

Messages seeking comment from Trent, Dahlquist and Culton were not immediately returned.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.