The glory days are gone, but the legend of Suwannee football lives on. All over America, apparently. When the call went out for a new head coach earlier this month, more than 60 applicants responded. Résumés came in from as far away as Utah. Seems everybody wants to be the one to bring greatness back to the Dog House. Or maybe it’s just a tight job market for football coaches.

In any case, the search to replace Bobby Bennett is moving along quickly. The application period closed Jan. 19 and school officials planned to form a review committee yesterday to narrow the field to a more manageable number. District personnel director Bill Brothers said the size of the final pool will depend on the quality of the applicants, but might be around eight. Brothers said the final group should be announced by the end of next week. Then begin interviews.

“We’re certainly pleased with the interest and with the quality of the applicants,” Brothers said.

SHS principal Dawn Lamb agreed. “It is exciting to me that Suwannee football has such a reputation that people from all over would apply for [the head coaching job],” she said.

School officials didn’t release the names of the applicants, but the Democrat has learned the identity of at least one high-profile candidate — Kevin Sullivan, head coach at district rival Andrew Jackson in Jacksonville — and one non-candidate. Lafayette head man Joey Pearson said Tuesday that he was happy where he was and didn’t plan to leave, any loose talk to the contrary notwithstanding.

Robert Bridges can be reached by calling 386-362-1734 ext. 134 or by e-mail at robert.bridges@gaflnews.com.

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