Island Coast found an experienced football coach on the east coast to take over the Gators' already successful program.
Wayne Blair, 38, had a successful three-year run at Boyd Anderson High School in Fort Lauderdale, compiling a 20-14 mark with one playoff appearance. Blair also spent eight years under legendary coach George Smith at St. Thomas Aquinas as well as stints at three other schools before landing at Boyd Anderson.
Blair was part of five state championships and one national title while at Aquinas, where he played in two state title games and won one. He continued his career at Tulane University and three years in the Canadian Football League.
Blair becomes just the second coach in the school's history replacing Joe Bowen, who built the program from scratch. Bowen, who stepped down in February, compiled a six-year varsity record of 42-19, with three postseason appearances, and sent 30 players to college with scholarships.
Out of 120 applications for the football job, athletic director Liam Farrell and administrators interviewed nine candidates.
"We were looking for someone from a winning culture," said Farrell. "That's important. Of equal importance is the kind of person he is, a leader who can help assure the athletes succeed academically, and can he help kids go on to college.
"Blair was a very good candidate that stood out from the start," added Farrell. "When we met him we were very comfortable. He will fit perfectly in our program."