The most successful coach in the history of the Holy Trinity football program will not be on the sidelines when the Tigers take to the field for the 2022 season.
In a shocking move, the school announced Monday afternoon that Nate Hooks Jr. will remain on the school’s faculty, but the Tigers are now looking for a new coach to lead the program.
Hooks, 58, who led the Tigers to new heights in his eight seasons as head coach, was caught completely off guard by the move.
“I’m disappointed with the decision,” Hooks said. “I was looking forward to another record year with the players. Last year we went 10-2.
“But the principal of the school (Katherine Cobb) told me (Monday morning) that she and some parents felt that I was not developing the players. I completely disagree with that statement.
The numbers would certainly seem to support Hooks.
Not only have the Tigers made the playoffs in five of his eight years with the program, they won their first-ever FHSAA playoff game in 2018 and reached the regional semifinals four times in a row.
Last year, the 10-2 mark set records for the most wins in a single season and the best start (9-0) in program history.
Hooks was the Tigers’ winningest coach with a 48-35 rating. Virtually all of this was done with numbered rosters in the teens or under-20s, a long-standing problem for the program that existed before Hooks came along. Last year’s 35-player varsity roster was the most Holy Trinity ever under Hooks.
Several players transferred after last season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see even more leave now that Hooks is no longer the coach. Hooks thanked all of the players who played for him over the past eight seasons and wished the program well.
“I have been offered to continue as a physical education teacher at school, and I hope the players have another great season,” he said.
Whoever gets the job will certainly have a challenge, not only to match Hooks’ success on the court, but also to get Holy Trinity players recruited through college programs.
Despite the low player count, Holy Trinity had four players ranked among the top 300 in the nation by 247 Sports – Seth Coleman, James BlackStrain, Jashaun Corbin (before his move to Rockledge) and rising junior DayDay Famer – during Hooks’ tenure. .
Overall, Holy Trinity had 19 players who received scholarships, including seven at Division I schools. Tiger players also received 242 scholarship offers and schools like Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and LSU – the last four national champions – have stopped at the Melbourne campus in recent years.
Farmer, who has 17 scholarship offers, including those from USF; Miami; West Virginia; Penn State; Arizona State; Purdue; Minnesota; Virginia; Georgia Tech; State of Iowa; Pittsburgh and Missouri are on track to become the latest Tiger to sign with a Division I program.
But the school is moving forward.
“We appreciate the service and dedication of Coach Hooks in helping to shape the lives and character of so many of our student-athletes over his eight years of coaching the varsity team,” said Holy’s athletic director. Trinity, James Phillips, in a statement released by the school.
Phillips, who has asked candidates for the head coaching position to email him at [email protected], said he will work closely with the school’s director of football operations, Steve Henderson, to “ensure continuous and consistent practice schedules.”
Training and conditioning of college players will continue under the direction of the school’s new athletic performance director, Vincent Martins.
“I am confident that the Holy Trinity football program remains in a strong position to continue its winning tradition and I am excited about the new chapter ahead of us,” said Phillips.
Hooks, meanwhile, vowed he would coach somewhere in 2022, especially after being contacted by five Brevard County schools within 30 minutes of Monday’s announcement.
“I’m weighing my options,” he said. “It was unexpected and caught me totally off guard. I wasn’t looking for my next move.