Posted: 12:01 pm Monday, December 8th, 2008

Schneider Done at Spanish River; Berger Named Coach 

By Jason Lieser

After winning one game in two seasons with Spanish River, head football coach Perry Schneider stepped down Monday.

Athletic Director Kevin McEnroe made the announcement, and said defensive coordinator Ray Berger was the immediate choice to replace Schneider.

“As of this morning, Coach Schneider has stepped down as our head coach to pursue other things,” McEnroe said. “He was a little frustrated.

“It was a frustrating thing for him. It’s a tough program to work with right now. He felt he wanted to spend his last few years coaching in a better situation.”

The Sharks went 1-9 this year and were 1-19 over Schneider’s two seasons in charge. The lone win came against John I. Leonard in September.

McEnroe cited an overall lack of athletes as a major disadvantage for the football team and praised Schneider’s ability to draw the best effort out of his players.

“The bottom line is I thought our team competed much better this year than last year,” McEnroe said. “There weren’t many games we were out of from the get-go. It takes a lot for a football team to win a game. Our biggest thing right now is creating enough numbers to compete.”

Schneider told the Post last Thursday he intended to remain as head coach.

“As far as I can see right now, I’m not going anywhere,” he said at the time.

Monday afternoon, Schneider said he made that comment because he was waiting for the appropriate time to make his decision public.

He said it was difficult to lose so many games and lacked the necessary athletes to run his offense.

“I think I improved the program tremendously,” he said. “We were not competing the year before I got here and this year we were.

“It’s so hard to go 1-19. I’ve been very successful every place I’ve been, but what I do on offense didn’t work. It’s hard to run power football with kids who aren’t able to do it.”

Schneider said he is not retiring and hopes to have a head coaching job in the spring. He plans to remain on staff as a physical education teacher through the end of the school year.

As for offering the job to Berger without opening it up, McEnroe said it would have been difficult for the school to find someone with as much experience who was willing to take on a rebuilding project.

“We’re comfortable with the transition,” McEnroe said. “He wanted to be here and take on the challenge. He wants the job.”

Schneider is the second area football coach to resign this season, after Okeechobee’s Chris Branham. The Palm Beach Gardens job is open, too, following last week’s firing of Kevin Fleury.