Posted: 4:40 pm Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Olympic Heights football coach Mitch Henghold steps down 

By Matt Porter

Olympic Heights football coach Mitch Henghold has resigned after six seasons.

Henghold

Henghold

Henghold, 43, said his reasons were personal and that he’s “not at all getting forced out.” He said coaching had become too time-consuming and that he wants to pursue other opportunities, including helping at his church.

“The head coaching deal, if you do it the right way it absorbs you,” said Henghold, who has four daughters including Brooke, a senior on the Olympic Heights soccer team. “You tend not to be able to do the things you prioritize. For me, I tell my daughters it’s about faith and family, then school and football. I have to practice what I preach.”

He informed administration of the decision Friday and met with players Thursday afternoon. Olympic Heights Athletic Director Carla Blefary said the school respects Henghold’s decision.

“I think Mitch did a great job,” Blefary said. “He ended the program better than when he took it over.”

The Lions went 7-3 last year and finished third in District 14-3A. They will compete this year in a realigned District 14-6A with Forest Hill, Okeechobee, Palm Beach Lakes, Sebastian River and South Fork.

Blefary said the school would conduct “an extensive search” for a new coach and hoped to name one by the start of spring practice, May 2. She said there are no candidates currently in the mix for the job.

“It’s wide open,” she said.

Henghold, who teaches ESE students at the Boca Raton school, will remain in that role. An assistant coach at Fort Pierce Westwood for four years before taking over the Lions, he said he’s happy to leave his first head coaching job on a good note.

“Selfishly I wanted to stay because we have some great kids,” he said. “If everyone sticks it out and we don’t have any injuries, we have a real good chance to be district champions this year.

“When I started (2005), we had 14 kids the first day of two-a-days. Now we have more than 100 … I didn’t do it all by myself, but I feel pretty good about where we left it.”