TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Four years ago, Ed Hill was named head coach of the St. John Paul II football team. Since then, the program has grown tremendously, as the Panthers have become a perennial playoff contender and they have sent off several athletes to play at the collegiate level.
Hill stepped down Thursday night as head coach, choosing to focus his energy as the Panthers athletic director, where he has big plans to grow the entire athletic department.
The Panthers didn't have to look very far to find their next head coach though, as Tremaine Hughes Sr. has been on staff the last three seasons, and making him St. JP II's next head coach? An easy decision.
This will be Hughes first head coaching job at the high school level, but with the work he's already put in with the program, the transition should be smooth.
"I'm very thankful for everything that coach Hill has done, things that he's shown me, the opportunity he's given me," he said. "We're going to be physical. We're going to be aggressive. We're going to be hardworking. We're going to be disciplined and we're going to be smart football players."
"This guy came in during this build and he's been my right hand man ever since," added Hill. "We coined this phrase brick by brick from day one, and Tremaine has been an important brick in that growth, and now it's time to continue building these bricks out."
At Gadsden County Thursday night, Russell Ellington was formally introduced as the next head coach of the Jags.
Ellington accepted the job in January, and on Thursday, members of the community got to know him a little better. Ellington led Munroe to a state semi-final appearance this past season. He said to leave the Bobcats was not an easy decision, but he said he's ready for the challenge that coaching a bigger program will bring.
"We had some great kids over there," he said of Munroe. "They listened to me, and they fought hard for me. That's what we're trying to bring over here, to show these kids I love them and care about them. When you do that, they'll run through a brick wall for you. I want to be a state championship contender. There's enough talent in this area to do it. We have great coaches, and I'm up for the challenge. It won't be easy, not saying we'll win it right off the bat, but that's the goal and I plan on achieving it."