Johnson named P.K. Yonge football coach


Kent Johnson is the new football coach at P.K. Yonge.

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:08 p.m.

Rob Cox stepped down as head football coach at P.K. Yonge last Wednesday, 26 days before the opening of preseason practices and following two seasons that resulted in just four wins.

Cox, who replaced Nathaniel “Lou” Seward after two seasons, which also produced four wins, will be replaced by former Eastside and Hawthorne coach Kent Johnson, who recently resigned as Newberry High’s athletic director after two years.

“I just wanted to step back a little bit, spend more time with my children,” said Cox, who has a son entering eighth grade and a daughter entering fifth. “I will go back to being the behind-the-scenes guy.”

Johnson, who coached nine years at Eastside, led the Rams to five straight state playoff berths and three district titles between 2004-2008, reaching the regional finals in 2005.

At Hawthorne, he had the Hornets in four playoffs in six years between 1995-2001.

Johnson has also coached girls basketball for 14 years, nine at Hawthorne and five at Eastside (Class 4A finalists in 2005), and has also coached track.

He has 32 years of high school athletic experience in Alachua County.

Originally, Johnson had planned to be a physical education instructor at Oak View Middle School in Newberry this fall.

“(The administration was) realistic about the lack of success P.K. Yonge has had in football the last couple of years,” said Johnson, who worked with school principal Catherine Atria while at Newberry. “They realized Rob worked hard and felt a change would be a shot in the arm to revitalize the program. When you make a change, sometimes change brings about renewed enthusiasm.”

Johnson said he is not concerned about the past, and was scheduled to begin work Monday, assembling his staff and teaching the basics to his players.

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