Posted: 6:23 am Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

At least 77 apply for Gardens job 

By Jason Lieser

Palm Beach Gardens will go at least two months without a full-time football coach in place, with interviews scheduled to begin the first week of February.

At last count, athletic director Bill Weed said the school received 77 applications for the job. The number was more than he expected, and he will stand by his original Jan. 31 deadline, which means even more candidates might join the field.

Weed did not get into specifics, but said there were not many local applicants.

Palm Beach Gardens fired Kevin Fleury in early December after the Gators finished 2-8. In his previous three seasons, Fleury guided the Gators to a 31-7 mark and won the state championship in his first year.

A source with knowledge of the situation said Fleury was Okeechobee’s top choice to fill its coaching vacancy, but Fleury never expressed strong interest in the job. The Brahmans have narrowed their search to 3-5 candidates and expect to hire a new coach by the end of the month.