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Kokell resigns as head coach at Forest Hill, Blessington takes over

Dec 11, 2012 -- 4:48pm

By: Ken LaVicka

After three seasons at Forest Hill, Chris Kokell has resigned as head football coach.
Kokell made the decision to step away Friday and told his players Tuesday afternoon.
“It was my own decision, this wasn’t a force-out,” said Kokell. “It was time for me. I’m tired. I know the program is in a better place than when I got here.”
According to Kokell, offensive line coach Jude Blessington has been promoted to head coach, while Kokell will remain at the school as a math teacher. For now, he doesn’t plan on being a part of the coaching staff.
“A lot goes in to being a head coach. I need to take time to be a math teacher. Whenever I do get back to [coaching] I’ll be ready, but I’m not looking at all.”
Kokell found himself caught in controversy before the start of the 2012 season when former assistant Michael Dudek was arrested on felony charges for falsifying grade transcripts for both Forest Hill and Dwyer football players. Dwyer was forced to forfeit its entire 2011 season due to the scandal.
Forest Hill, who hired former Florida Atlantic defensive coordinator Kurt VanValkenburgh as its athletic director prior to this past season, went 3-27 in Kokell’s three years in charge. 
The Forest Hill head coaching job is one of the toughest in the state, having struggled for several decades, collecting only 8 regular season wins since 1999. 

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