Posted: 7:08 am Saturday, May 30th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
It still hurts former Boca Raton football coach Eddie Giersbrook to think about the Bobcats, but he was glad to see the school hire Keith Byars as his replacement Friday.
Prior to Friday’s promotion, Byars was Giersbrook’s running backs coach and head JV coach. Giersbrook was impressed by Byars’ knowledge and demeanor during their time together.
“He was very successful, very knowledgeable,” Giersbrook said. “He’s big on discipline. I think it’s a great choice.
“I want the program to succeed and do well. We built a good foundation, and what Keith did with the JV program, there’s a good foundation there too. I think they’ll do extremely well.”
Giersbrook also praised the job Larry Green did as interim coach bridging time between Giersbrook and Byars.
Green took over when Giersbrook was asked to resign in late March and became a frontrunner to take the job permanently and impressed his bosses by handling disciplinary issues and college recruitment.
“Both of them were very quality individuals,” Giersbrook said of Green and Byars. “I don’t think they could have gone wrong with either one. I’m glad for the kids’ sake they know who their head coach is.”
Green and Byars were on the sideline Thursday when Boca Raton beat Santaluces 36-13 in its spring game. Giersbrook, who said in March he would never attend another Boca Raton football game, opted to take in Atlantic vs. Royal Palm Beach instead.
He was at school Thursday — Giersbrook is a physical education teacher at Boca Raton and is expected to return in that position next school year — and had a difficult time watching his former players walking the hallways in their football jerseys.
“It’s too hard for me to stomach,” Giersbrook said. “(Thursday) was probably the toughest day I ever had to go through. You see the kids go through the school with the uniforms on — the uniforms I designed.
“I love football. I’ll still go to games this fall, but I can’t watch Boca play. That would kill me.”
Giersbrook said he will take a year off before considering any potential coaching opportunities, but does plan to return to coaching. He unequivocally stated that he will not return to Boca Raton as an assistant or JV coach, an idea first floated publicly by principal Geoff McKee.
Giersbrook was dismissed in the midst of a Florida High School Athletic Association investigation into recruiting allegations presented by Park Vista. Those charges center around the transfer of quarterback Eddie Sullivan from Park Vista to Boca Raton.
For the news story on Byars’ hiring, click here.