Olesnevich leaving St. Francis

St. Francis head coach Matt Olesnevich is taking a job at St. Augustine St. Joseph.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.

Matt Olesnevich, head football coach and athletic director at St. Francis since 2010, will be leaving at the end of the school year to become football coach at St. Augustine St. Joseph.

Olesnevich, 14-17 in his three seasons as the Wolves’ coach, said he knew since Friday that he would be making this move but didn’t want to overshadow the boys basketball district tournament, which was being played at the school.

“I will be leaving at the conclusion of the school year,” said Olesnevich, who replaces former Gator special teams ace Brandon James, fired after going 2-8 in his only season as coach. “I will be doing both schools’ spring football. That could change if Mr. (Ernest) Herrington (school principal at St. Francis) gets a new football coach.”

The Flashes, under James, finished the season with less than 20 players.

Olesnevich’s most successful season at St. Francis came in his first year, when the Wolves finished third in District 2-1B with a 6-5 overall record (4-2 district) and played in a bowl game. The team, which opened that season 1-4, won five straight games to close the regular season.

“This move is good for me professionally and personally,” Olesnevich said, who will also serve as director of student services at St. Joseph. “The community here is great, it was just a move I needed to make.”

His Wolves teams went 5-5 in 2011 and 3-7 this past season. St. Joseph has a new athletic director in Patrick Keane and principal in Tom McGlinn, and the school, like Oak Hall and St. Francis, decided to go independent in football for the next two years.

“This year was a little tough, you always want to win it all,” Olesnevich said. “The guys did the best they could. If you look at our district, the district champs (Jacksonville University Christian) won the state title. I’m proud of the boys. They worked very hard.”

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