Florida's School Football Coaches Are Fleeing For Other States

High school football score seen from distance

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Florida is losing a growing number of high school football coaches to other states. They include some who have led their teams to state championships, like Travis Roland, who left Mainland High School in Daytona Beach for a position in Georgia, and Eric Lodge. He left Sanford-Seminole High after winning a championship and took his services to South Carolina.

What's behind this? The money is better in other states.

"I Think that there needs to be a revamp at the district level of the investment there is. Some of these coaches make $3,500 to $5,000...I'm not talking about a month, a check, this is their annual supplement. This is what they're getting to coach year round."

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Junior hopes this trend is reversed.

"I do think the districts need to figure out how to solve this issue to make sure that we have these high caliber role models in place."

He says school districts should be taking this seriously.

"I didn't coach high school football, I coached high school baseball but I can tell you the most effective drop-out prevention program that we have in this country is high school athletics."

The highest paid head coaches make $7,000 in Escambia County, while the lowest paid work for $3,000 in Broward. These are typically supplements to their teacher salaries, but states like Georgia pay five figures.

The Florida Coaches Coalition is working with a lawmaker in Tallahassee on a bill that raise the pay to more than $20,000 annually.

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