Posted: 7:58 pm Monday, January 21st, 2013

New coach Steven Humphrey ready to ‘call Seminole Ridge home’ 

By Matt Porter

Because Seminole Ridge reached the regional finals twice in the last three seasons and won three district titles in a row, the open head coaching job was of high interest. Among the 60 candidates: a name as large in local football as Glades Day coach Pete Walker, a three-time state champion.

Ridge now sees its future in Steven Humphrey. At 29, the first-year coach will take over for Matt Dickmann, who was the Hawks’ first coach and spent eight years before departing for Harrison (Ga.) High in December.

Humphrey

Humphrey

“They’ve laid the foundation,” said Humphrey, who spent the last two years as the offensive coordinator at Flagler-Palm Coast High. We’re going to try to take it day by day and hopefully be successful. I’ve got big shoes to fill, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

In his five years of coaching, Humphrey was offensive coordinator at Live Oak-Suwanee and wide receivers coach at Virginia Military Institute. He played quarterback at Titusville-Astronaut High — his team lost to Glades Central in the 2000 Class 3A state finals — and wide receiver at Division II Tusculum (Tenn.) College.

He is the grandson of FHSAA Hall of Fame coach Lacy R. “Bill” Humphrey, who coached Lake Worth from 1964-75. Read more about him here.

“I hope to fulfill my grandfather’s legacy, as well as what Coach Dickmann started,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey has coached at a Class 8A program for the last two seasons. Palm Coast went 6-4 last year, finishing out of the playoffs in District 1-8A. He applied for several head coaching jobs, including Sebastian River, Orlando-Boone and Orlando-Edgewater.

Expect a change in the Hawks’ offense, which under Dickmann was rooted in Wing-T principles. Humphrey, who will teach physical education, said he needs to get to know his players first.

“As long as the kids know you care about them, they’re going to care about you,” he said. “There’s only so many ways you can run power, only so many ways you can throw four verticals. Everyone’s a great X’s and O’s guy. What makes a successful program is everybody going in the right direction.”

This is the first head coaching job for Humphrey. He wants to make it last until he’s well into his greying years.

“I told [Seminole Ridge principal James] Campbell and [Athletics Director Scott] Parks, I’ll come as long as they’ll have me, until my kids graduate,” he said. “I want to call Seminole Ridge home.”

Humphrey and his wife are expecting their first children – twins – in July, so his new job and their move from the Space Coast to Palm Beach County aren’t the only major changes in their lives.

It’s apparent he’s handling it with faith and good humor.

“I’ve got two dogs and two babies on the way,” he said. “I bought an SUV. I might have to trade it in for a minivan. I never thought I’d be a minivan guy, but God humbles you sometimes, I guess.”

Palm Beach Post staff writer Jeff Greer contributed to this report.