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Lakeland’s Bill Castle Named 2022 Football Coach-of-the-Year

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GAINESVILLE (January 6) – Bill Castle of Lakeland High School has been named the 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Football Coach-of-the-Year following a final round of voting by a statewide panel of high school football coaches and media representatives.

Castle, who recently announced his retirement after 47 years as Lakeland’s head coach, won his eighth state title in 2022, leading his team to a 14-0 record and the Class 4S state championship. This season Castle surpassed the all-time state record of 465 wins set by Jacksonville Bolles coach Corky Rogers, and completed his career with a 473-98 record. His eight state titles are more than any other Florida public high school coach and he becomes the first three-time winner of the state Coach of the Year award (1998, 2004 and 2022).

Castle garnered eight first-place votes and 127 points to finish ahead of Class 4M Coach-of-the-Year Dave Dunn of Miami Columbus, who picked up six first-place votes and 89 points to finish as the runner-up. Class 3S COY Tavaris Johnson of Lake Wales (83 points) finished third followed by Class 1R COY Cornelius Ingram of Hawthorne (67), Class 2M COY Gibudale (Jube) Joseph of Miami Central (64), Class 2S COY Ryan Schneider of Cocoa (37) and Class 1M COY Dameon Jones of Chaminade-Madonna (26). Rounding out the voting were Class 1S COY Billy Sparacio of First Baptist Academy (14), Independent COY Ben Bullock of Lake Highland Prep (12) and Class 3M COY Phillip Simpson of Homestead (7).

The Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards program exemplifies Florida Dairy Farmers’ commitment to the state’s youth. This marks the 31st year of these unique awards as we honor the state’s top athletes and coaches in all 30 FHSAA sanctioned and recognized sports. The program also emphasizes to young people the importance of keeping dairy products a primary part of their diet in their overall nutrition plan.

2022 FINAL VOTING RESULTS (Note: Points awarded on a 10-7-5 basis)

Player Total Points 1st-place Votes
Bill Castle, Lakeland 127 8
Dave Dunn, Columbus 89 6
Tavaris Johnson, Lake Wales 83 3
Cornelius Ingram, Hawthorne 67 4
Gibudale Joseph, Central 64 2
Ryan Schneider, Cocoa 37 2
Dameon Jones, Chaminade-Madonna 26
Billy Sparacio, First Baptist Academy 14
Ben Bullock, Lake Highland Prep 12
Phillip Simpson, Homestead 7

Past Football Coaches of the Year:
1992 – Wally Dunne, Coral Springs
1993 – Paul Maechtle, Bradenton Southeast
1994 – Rod Shafer, Lake Wales
1995 – Bob Withrow, Jacksonville Sandalwood
1996 – Robby Pruitt, Lake Butler Union County
1997 – Danny Green, Lake City Columbia
1998 – Bill Castle, Lakeland
1999 – Milton Watson, Belle Glade Glades Central
2000 – Nick Coleman, Venice
2001 – Al Morrell, Clewiston
2002 – Richard Wood, Tampa Wharton
2003 – Bill Kramer, Naples
2004 – Bill Castle, Lakeland
2005 – Joey Wiles, St. Augustine
2006 – Robert Weiner, Tampa Plant
2007 – Billy Rolle, Miami Northwestern
2008 – Robert Weiner, Tampa Plant
2009 – John Wilkinson, Cocoa
2010 – Dale Salapa, Orlando Dr. Phillips
2011 – Robert Craft, Tallahassee North Florida Christian
2012 – Tim Harris, Sr., Miami Booker T. Washington
2013 – Tim Harris, Sr., Miami Booker T. Washington
2014 – Tim Harris, Jr., Miami Booker T. Washington
2015 – Deran Wiley, Jacksonville Raines
2016 – Billy Rolle, Miami Southridge
2017 – John Peacock, Venice
2018 – Bobby Ramsey, Jacksonville Mandarin
2019 – Cameron Duke, Orlando Edgewater
2020 – Eric Lodge, Sanford Seminole
2021 – Matt Thompson, Tampa Jesuit

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