Posted: 1:51 pm Monday, April 19th, 2010

Pope John Paul II hires former Miami Dolphins and Notre Dame player Autry Denson 

By Jason Lieser

Autry Denson, who left Notre Dame as the school’s all-time leading rusher, is the new head football coach at Pope John Paul II. Denson played four seasons in the NFL.

“We can’t begin to express how excited the entire Pope John Paul High School community is with Autry’s arrival,” athletic director Scott Baker said it a statement released Monday. “He’s a knowledgeable, experienced and successful athlete. Moreover, he’s a person with exceptional character and principles. We consider ourselves very fortunate that he will be guiding our student athletes at Pope.”

Denson runs for a first down in the 2001 pre-season. (Richard Graulich/The Post)

Denson runs for a first down in the 2001 pre-season. (Richard Graulich/The Post)

He replaces Chris Kokell, who resigned to take the head job at Forest Hill earlier this month. Kokell went 6-14 in two seasons with the Eagles.

Denson grew up in Broward County and player for Davie-Nova before signing with Notre Dame. He played for the Fighting Irish from 1995 through ’98, running for 4,318 yards and 43 touchdowns.

Denson played for the Dolphins in 1999 and 2000. He played in 17 games and totaled 206 rushing yards.

He played for the Chicago Bears in 2001 and finished his career with the Indianapolis Colts the following year.

Denson is the area’s fourth head coach with NFL experience. He joins Boca Raton’s Keith Byars, Glades Central’s Jessie Hester and Cardinal Newman’s Steve Walsh.

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