Posted: 2:15 pm Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
By Anthony Chiang
Tino Ierulli has had dreams of becoming a head football coach.
On Wednesday, his dreams became a reality. Ierulli was introduced as Palm Beach Central’s new head football coach in a press conference held at the school, replacing Rod Harris who was fired in December after six seasons with the Broncos.
“I’ve always wanted to build my own program,” Ierulli said. “I know the title of a head football coach carries a lot of different hats. I’m accepting and exciting about the opportunity to finally have my own program with the support of the administration.”
Ierulli comes from Lake Minneola High, where he was a defensive coordinator for three years. The team finished with a 4-7 record last season, falling to Daytona Beach-Mainland 49-0 in the Class 6A regional quarterfinals.
Lake Minneola’s defense, which used an aggressive blitzing style, allowed 29 points per game last season. The unit allowed seven points or less three times during the 2013 campaign.
Ierulli said he will bring his aggressive defensive philosophy with him to Palm Beach Central.
“We’re coming after you,” he said. “We will be blitzing, no questions asked. We will have an attack style defense.”
Palm Beach Central’s assistant coaching staff is still being determined, but Ierulli has already decided on his defensive coordinator. Ierulli will bring Reggie Harris from California, where he leads Grant Union High School’s defense.
In addition, Ierulli said he welcomes back the Broncos’ assistant coaches from last season if they are interested in returning.
Expectations will be high right away, as the Broncos enter next season as back-to-back district champions. Palm Beach Central finished with an 8-4 record last year, but it eventually fell to Palm Beach Gardens in the Class 8A regional semifinals.
Palm Beach Central lost star offensive tackle Kc McDermott, who is already enrolled at Miami, but it will return dual-threat quarterback Kemar Downer, who is preparing to enter his senior season.
“They have a winning tradition, and I’m excited about carrying that on and getting this program to the next level,” Ierulli said. “I plan on having this program in the Citrus Bowl real soon, which means I plan on having this program playing for a state championship in December.”
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.