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Mack named new head football coach at North Fort Myers High

Takes over position previously held by Earnest Graham

April 17, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The North Fort Myers High School Red Knights have a new head coach.

Dwayne Mack, who has coached at the high school level as an assistant for 16 years in Lee County, will get his first head coaching assignment after being named the new football coach at North Fort Myers High School.

Mack, who has coached Mariner, Ida Baker and South Fort Myers high schools as an assistant on offense, defense and special teams, was hired Wednesday to lead a team that went 9-1 and reached the second round of the playoffs last year under the direction of former NFL running back Earnest Graham.

Article Photos

Dwayne Mack

Mack said he is up to the challenge.

"Earnest laid a great foundation that made North a great power in the area, so he will be a hard act to follow," Mack said. "I'm getting some good assistants, there are some great coaches and good pieces still in place. We have to do things right."

Principal Debbie Diggs said having known him for 13 years (he spent 10 years as an assistant at Ida Baker, where she was an assistant principal), she knows what Mack brings to the table.

"He is an incredible educator and motivator both in the classroom and on the field. Our students, athletes, staff, parents and community are so very fortunate to have a professional of his caliber, reputation and commitment to kids joining our family," Diggs said in a statement.

Mack has had offers in the past to be a head coach, but said they weren't the right fit for him and his family. The job at North give him the right fit with the administration. It also was the right move at the right time.

His arrival couldn't have come at a better time, as spring practice kicks off Monday, leaving him little time to get to know the players and their parents off the field before assessing what they can do on it.

Mack met with athletic director Joe Bowen on Thursday and learned of his expectations as a head coach, as well as Chris Snedden, who will be the associate head coach, and offensive coordinator David Pasquale, finally meeting with the kids in the weight room on Friday. He also met with coaches Tuesday to lay out the first week of practice, without pads.

"I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. We have the same offensive and defensive coordinators, so we plan to do the same things. I'm going to tweak, but I don't plan on using a new system," Mack said, adding he would adapt to the kids and not the other way around in terms of terminology.

In the meantime, Mack said he will finish out his school year at South Fort Myers High School, where he teaches advanced placement U.S. history. He said it wouldn't be right to leave those students when they have tests coming up. Mack will teach at North next year.

"It's about commitment and trust. If I give kids my word that I will teach them and make sure they're successful for a test they need to pass to graduate, I'm going to fulfill my commitment," Mack said.

Graham resigned on March 27 after four seasons for health reasons and so he can be closer to his family.

Mack Mitchell, Graham's defensive coordinator, accepted the head coaching position at Oasis Charter High School.



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