Pinellas Park coach Kenny Crawford, who transformed the school’s downtrodden football into a consistent playoff contender, said he was stepping down after 13 seasons.
“It was time,” Crawford said. “The job was just becoming too much.”
Former Boca Ciega coach Max Smith, who served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator this past season, will replace Crawford as coach. The decisions were announced to the team on Monday.
Crawford, a former assistant at Northeast, was hired at Pinellas Park in 2009. He inherited a program that won five games from 2004-08.
It did not take long for Crawford to turn things around. He went 10-10 his first two seasons in (2009-10), doubling the win total from the previous five seasons combined. Since then, Crawford has guided the Patriots to the playoffs in 10 of the past 11 seasons.
He finishes as the school’s all-time leader in wins with 95.
“When I took over, this was the worst team in the county,” Crawford said. “We never had a losing season during my time as coach. That’s something to be proud of.”
Crawford also spent countless hours helping kids play football at the next level. More than 100 of his players went on to play in college during his tenure.
Part of the reason Crawford decided to step down was because of health issues. In the past five years, he has had surgery on his spine and both hips.
“I coached half of this past season in a golf cart,” Crawford said. “It just became too much.”