West Orange has landed its new football coach.
Players were alerted Wednesday afternoon that former Lake Brantley and Syracuse standout Dee Brown has been tabbed as the program’s new head coach. He replaces Bob Head, who went 48-20 with the Warriors from 2013-18 before being forced to resign.
Brown, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, played in 44 games in six pro seasons with the Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.
“He’s been there at every single level and lived it all from high school football and beyond,” said West Orange athletics director Jerry Shafer. “He has all of those connections that West Orange is looking for, and everywhere he’s been he’s been successful.”
Brown rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a senior option quarterback at Lake Brantley under then-head coach George Clayton. He then tallied 2,626 yards and 28 touchdowns at running back for Syracuse from 1997-2000.
Brown led Victory Christian of Charlotte, N.C., to a 31-18 record over four seasons as a head coach. That included two North Carolina independent high school state titles in 2012 and 2014. He’s scheduled to be on campus for the first time April 13 in advance of spring practices, which begin at West Orange on April 22.
The change at West Orange came after Head was arrested in January on a domestic violence charge, which was later not pursued by prosecutors. He was cleared to return to teaching by Orange County Public Schools last month but was not retained as coach at the school.
Brown joins a growing list of new coaching hires throughout the Sentinel coverage area, which includes Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake and southwest Volusia counties.
He joins Jeff Rolson (Apopka), Vernon Mitchell (Evans), Wes Allen (Hagerty), Gary Dugger (Tavares) and Charlie Cerney (Umatilla) as new head coaches at their respective schools for 2019.
Faith Christian is making a return to 11-man football in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference this season with Tim Swore as its new head coach. Swore, who takes over for Andre Dobson, moves into the area from Grand Rapids, Mich., where he went 71-41 and reached the state semifinals twice in 11 seasons at NorthPointe Christian. Faith Christian competed at the 8-man level last season after going 9-1 under Dobson in 2017.
Freedom promoted defensive coordinator Robert Mahoney to head coach. He becomes the third coach in as many seasons for the Patriots. Mahoney replaces Phil Vogt, who after going 2-8 in one season at Freedom is now defensive coordinator at Palm Bay Bayside.
Orlando University is in search of a new head coach just three months after hiring Marc Klatt, who decided to remain in South Carolina, where he has coached the past four seasons. Klatt replaced Derrick Warren, who compiled a 4-15 record the past two seasons. Klatt said via email Wednesday that he resigned from University to “take another position better suited for myself and our family.”