Joey Pearson

Lafayette High football coach Joey Pearson announced his retirement Thursday afternoon after 20 years at the helm of the Hornets.

MAYO, Fla. — A Hall of Fame career has come to an end.

Joey Pearson announced his retirement as Lafayette High’s head football coach on social media Thursday afternoon.

“THANK YOU Hornet Nation!!!!!!!,” Pearson posted on Facebook and Twitter. “It’s been a great ride. After 20 years as Head Coach of the Hornets I have decided it’s time to step down and pass the torch. My family thanks everyone for the loyal support for the last 20 years. I am blessed to have had the opportunity!! Go Hornets!!!”

In those 20 years, Pearson led his alma mater to a 155-68 mark and six district titles. The Hornets made 15 playoff appearances under Pearson’s direction including a state semifinal appearance in 2007 when he was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 1A Coach of the Year.

"I've been on the sideline for every game since 1991 except for one with the birth of my daughter. I felt like it was time," Pearson said. "We've got a good team coming back and I feel like it will be a successful transition. We have a big group of seniors coming back and some coaches on staff to make it a smooth transition.”

Pearson was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January, one of six coaches to be honored at the ceremony in Daytona Beach.

Prior to taking over the LHS program in 1999, Pearson had served as an assistant coach for eight years.

Pearson said he will continue to work at LHS as the Director of Support Services. 

School officials said a new coach could be named prior to the start of spring practice, which begins April 22.

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