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Enterprise hires legendary Florida head coach

Enterprise, AL – When the Enterprise Wildcats entered the head coaching market this off season they went fishing for a big time leader.  They landed a whopper.  When the Cats hit the gridiron in 2019 they will be lead by one of the most successful coaches in Florida high school football history – former Apopka head coach Rick Darlington.  

Darlington brings the distinction of being the all-time leader in playoff wins among Florida high school football coaches.  The Lakeland, FL native has amassed a career record of 206-69 over 23 seasons leading powerhouse programs Apopka (FL) and Valdosta (GA).  

His teams have reached the postseason in 21 of 23 seasons as a head coach.  Enterprise is coming off a combined 4-16 record in the past two seasons, missing the 7A playoffs in 2017 and 2018.  

During his 17 seasons at Florida’s Apopka High, Darlington’s squads have won three state titles and set records for points scored and rushing yards.  His potent offense featured an unheard of three 1,000 yard rushers each season from 2013 to 2015.  

“I think my purpose is to be a coach,” Darlington told The Dothan Eagle. “I’m thankful I get to do it here. It’s not about the game. We just use the game of football to build men, and that’s all I’ve thought is important, and if we can build men and build character, we’re going to win a lot of games and hopefully win some championships.”

In addition to luring Darlington from the high school football hotbed of central Florida, Enterprise has poached Jed Kennedy from Wisconsin’s Brookfield Central.  He will serve as Darlington’s defensive coordinator.  Kennedy amassed a 49-12 record and a pair of state runner up finishes during his five year stint as the head coach at Brookfield Central.  He won a Wisconsin state championship as a head coach earlier in his career.  Marcus McCarty will be joining the Wildcats staff, from Wekiva High (FL), as defensive backs and strength and conditioning coach.  

Darlington replaces former Enterprise head coach David Faulkner who resigned in November after leading the Wildcats to a 38-38 record over seven seasons.

Enterprise is coming off a 2-8 campaign in 2018.  The Wildcats will be looking to snap an eight game loosing skid when they kick off 2019.  

Click here to check out the 2019 Alabama high school football coaching carousel