By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
(Pick up a copy of Saturday’s Sun for a full version of this story)
ENGLEWOOD — Lemon Bay High School athletic director Ryan LaVallee wasted no time finding DJ Ogilvie’s replacement.
He didn’t have to look very far either, as Don Southwell has been promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach, LaVallee announced Thursday morning.
“His was the first name that popped in my head when coach Ogilvie told me he was leaving,” LaVallee said. “I know how much the kids care about him and respect him. I know how much of a good human being he is. I’ve watched him for two years now the way he prepares for football.”
Southwell has been with Lemon Bay as a teacher and coach since 2002. He began on the coaching staff working with the offensive line before moving to defensive coordinator under head coach Mike Messina.
LaVallee recognized the importance of keeping continuity within the program.
“The state of our program, the way coach Ogilvie left us, we are in good shape. We don’t need to be rebuilt. We just need to continuing building what we’re doing,” he said.
According to LaVallee, Southwell will have full control in deciding his new staff, and will be meeting with the existing coaches within the next week. Ogilvie was the offensive play caller before stepping down last Friday to accept an athletic director position back in his home state of Ohio.
Southwell with high school at DeSoto County and graduated from college at the University of Florida with a Bachelors and Master’s degree. He has a wife named Melissa and two children, Summer and Sawyer.
Southwell was not immediately available for comment.