Keith DeMyer has led the Lake Gibson High Braves to a 23-4 record in two seasons at the helm
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their NFL competitors are still jockeying for spots in the postseason field, Bay area high schools are already competing in the state playoffs. Last week, for instance, the Lake Gibson Fighting Braves defeated Land O' Lakes 39-6 in the opening round of the 4A State Playoffs, improving their overall record to an impressive 11-1.
In recognition of the Braves' recent victory and their dominant regular season, the Buccaneers named Head Coach Keith DeMyer the "High School Coach of the Week" on Wednesday. Along with four assistant coaches, he toured the Bucs' facility and watched the morning practice prior to receiving his award.
"I tell you what, receiving this award makes me proud of where our program is today," said DeMyer. "It's really a great tribute to Lake Gibson High School. We've been around a lot of years – the last five or six years we've put ourselves on the map a little bit, and it's a great place to be."
Coach DeMyer is in his second year as head coach of the Braves. For four years prior to assuming that post, he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Lake Gibson. DeMyer also had stints at George Jenkins, Lake Wales, Santa Fe, Lakeland and Bartow High Schools.
Under DeMyer's direction, Lake Gibson reached the 4A State Finals last year before falling to powerhouse Armwood. In 2004, the Braves picked up right where they left off. Lake Gibson is 23-4 under DeMyer in two seasons, a record which speaks for itself. In the midst of this year's playoff run, he has the Braves focused on reaching the 4A Finals once again.
"The only advantage we had coming in after losing last year's state finals was the incentive to come back and win the thing," said DeMyer. "We're still a young team – we have a lot of seniors and kids who didn't play last year. We still have a lot of underclassmen that are playing this year. It's a big challenge, and getting back to the Finals is all about pride. Hopefully we'll get a chance to win the thing this year."
DeMyer was presented with a framed "Coach of the Week" award signed by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen and Gruden. He also received football autographed by Gruden. In addition, a $1,000 donation to his football program will be awarded.
If you know a coach that you feel is deserving of being the Buccaneers "Coach of the Week" please click here and submit his or her name, school, county and reason he or she should be selected.
Several factors are taken into account when selecting the Buccaneers Coach of the Week recipient, including the coach's impact on his team, school and community. The program is designed to recognize high school coaches who transform, through their hard work and dedication to young people, the best available athletes into high-potential football players.
All schools in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota are eligible regardless of size, league or division.