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Coaching cuts force schools to punt

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Several coaches on Levy list for non-renewal

By Jenna McKenna

When you go to a district tournament game at the end of each sporting season, the Florida High School Athletic Association reminds you of a few important facts.

“Interscholastic events are an extension of the classroom,” intones the game announcer.

The purpose is to remind those in attendance how much sports and school go together.

Several schools in Levy County will have a tough time with their extended classrooms next year. According to a list obtained from the personnel department of the Levy County Schools district office, 10 of the teachers who are not returning next year are coaches. At least two other teachers are retiring or leaving extended DROP, bringing the total to at least 12 head and assistant coaches out of contract, retiring or exiting extended DROP.

Hardest hit is Bronson Middle High School. Listed as not returning, for various reasons, are Athletic Director Phillip Knight, football head coach Al Cooksey, baseball head coach James (Mike) Pogue, varsity football assistant Jeromi Birtikidis and varsity basketball assistant Brent Walker (who teaches ESE math and history at Summit Academy).


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