Posted: 4:44 pm Monday, December 6th, 2010

Kevin Fleury in the mix for open Royal Palm Beach head coaching job 

By Matt Porter

Kevin Fleury loves his current situation, but the pull of being a head coach is too strong to resist.

Fleury in 2008 as Palm Beach Gardens' head coach. (Steve Mitchell/The Palm Beach Post)

Fleury in 2008 as Palm Beach Gardens' head coach. (Steve Mitchell/The Palm Beach Post)

“I started out coaching in 1994 and my goal was to always be a head coach,” Fleury said. “I think it’s putting your name on something. I feel that every school that I’ve been at, as an assistant or as a head coach, I’ve had an influence. I think that as a head coach your influence is more profound.”

Fleury, who coached Palm Beach Gardens to a state championship in 2005 but was fired in 2008, has applied for two open coaching positions: Royal Palm Beach and Vero Beach.

Currently the defensive coordinator at Cardinal Newman, Fleury said he’s very happy coaching with Crusaders head coach Steve Walsh, and that the school’s academics are top-notch. He’s excited to help bring the football program back to prominence.

“It’s a great situation there, and there’s nothing but good things that are going to happen, whether I’m there or not,” Fleury said. “I’m really happy at Newman, and Steve’s a great coach.”

“As I told Steve, it’s the difference between being in a good spot and going to achieve your goals.”

In his first three seasons at Gardens, Fleury posted a 31-7 mark and won the school’s first state title, but put up a 2-8 season in 2008 before he was dismissed.

Former Royal Palm Beach head coach Frank Kunf resigned last month, citing health troubles. The Wildcats went 1-9 last year, advancing to a District 12-5A tiebreaker thanks to a regular-season win over John I. Leonard.

“It reminds me a lot of what Gardens was like,” Fleury said of the Wildcats’ program. “There’s a lot of talent, it just needs to go in the right direction.”

Fleury called the Vero Beach job, which became available after Gary Coggin was fired two weeks ago, a “high-level” coaching position.

“It’s high school football, bar none,” Fleury said. “The stands are full, there’s the band, you have everything you need for coaching, a great stadium. It’s everything you can ask for and more.”

Fleury said he and Walsh have an understanding, and he would love to return as Newman’s defensive coordinator if he isn’t selected for either head coaching position.

“I’m split between my love for Newman in the short period of time I’ve been there, and my ambition. I’ll see what’s out there,” Fleury said. “You do this job as a calling, and where you’re going to make your mark the best.”

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