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Jeff Nettles, 32, will bring 11 years of coaching experience to the Matanzas Pirates football program. He's the second head coach in Matanzas history.
Palm Coast Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 7 years ago

Jeff Nettles hired as next Matanzas football coach

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by: Andrew OBrien Contributing Writer

Jeff Nettles has been hired as the next head football coach at Matanzas High School, Athletics Director Ken Seybold announced Wednesday.

The search for a new coach took about six weeks, but Seybold said he’s excited for the selection of Nettles, who will officially begin at Matanzas as a teacher and coach on Jan. 22.

“Having (Jeff) to go through the spring is huge,” Seybold said, noting that it will help the new coach build relationships with players, parents and faculty before the season starts in August.

Nettles, 32, will be the second coach for Matanzas. Previous coach Keith Lagocki was the program’s first head coach, holding the position for the first eight seasons. Lagocki resigned Nov. 17, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Matanzas has gone 26-45 over its first eight seasons.

Seybold said he received more than 125 applications for the coaching gig, but Nettles’ plan for success gave him the edge in the end.

“He took the time to research our schedule and our school,” Seybold said. “It’s called ‘The Plan to Win,’ and we’re very excited about it and excited to take the next step as a football program with Coach Nettles leading us.”

Nettles, who was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Clay High School the past four seasons, has been a football coach for 11 years.

“I’m super excited about being here, and it’s a dream come true,” Nettles said. “I’ve admired Matanzas High School from the outside for a while, and I’ve always felt like it would be a great place to be the head coach.”

This will be Nettles’ first head coaching job.

Nettles said he’s already began to evaluate the talent at Matanzas, which includes athlete Al’Kwazi Spencer, quarterback Jeremiah Wilson and running back Stefan Tucker. All three are expected to return to Matanzas next season. The Pirates have yet to have a winning season, but Nettles said he’s hoping to change that.

“Winning is a big deal, but building character is the bigger deal,” he said. “The big thing is that football can help kids with life and a coach can help kids with life. The lessons you learn on the field, they carry over to life: hard work, integrity, character.”

Nettles said he hasn’t hired anyone to his coaching staff yet. He also said he’s open to retaining coaches who are currently on staff.

“My first priority is I want to put the best possible adults around my kids, and so I want to make sure that I establish a staff that is the best possible influence on (the players),” he said.

Nettles is a graduate of Bradford High School and attended the University of Florida. He coached the offensive line at P.K. Yonge High School for four years before accepting the same coaching position at Fleming Island High School. He remained at Fleming Island for two years before joining the Clay staff.

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