JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Menendez made the biggest high school football coaching splash of the offseason, reeling in a four-time state champion coach with a pair of national titles to boot.
The Falcons, who begin their 21st season of play this year, announced Kenny Sanchez as their new coach on Thursday night. Sanchez comes to Menendez from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, one of the most successful programs in high school football history.
The Falcons have never won more than eight games in a season. In Sanchez, they are adding a coach who averaged 13 victories a year and won four state championships in five seasons. Gorman had won 10 consecutive state titles prior to an overtime loss in the region final last November.
“It was a home run hire for both sides,” said former Falcons coach and current Menendez athletic director Patrick Turner. “We had some really, really good applicants, 14 current head coaches in the state of Florida. People know about St. Johns County and St. Johns County schools. People outside the state of Florida, they understand the draw to the state. He and his wife had wanted to get close to the beach. We’re five minutes from the beach. It was necessity meets opportunity and it worked out.”
Sanchez spent five seasons as Gorman’s head coach and posting a 65-7 record and four state championships. Included in that stretch is a pair of USA Today national titles in 2015 and ’16. He stepped down last January. Turner said that Sanchez received positive reviews from everyone he spoke with and couldn’t believe he was looking at a real application when Sanchez reached out to him.
On name and credentials alone, the hire is stunning.
Area schools tend to be creatures of hiring habit, often promoting from within or staying in-state on hires. That Menendez went that far west and brought in a multi-time state champion head coach, and this late in the offseason, made this hire out of the box.
Kenny Sanchez took over the head coaching spot at Gorman after his brother, Tony, took the head coaching job at UNLV. Tony was 84-6 at Gorman before making the jump from high school to college. Kenny served as defensive coordinator under his brother at Gorman.
Turner said that Sanchez wanted to meet with players on Monday before speaking with the media later next week.
Notable coaching changes this offseason
|School||Former coach||New coach|
|Englewood||JD Stalvey||Zachary Harbison|
|Fletcher||Kevin Brown||Bobby Raulerson|
|Jackson||Antoine Atwater||Christopher Foy|
|Menendez||Kyle Skipper||Kenny Sanchez|
|Raines||Deran Wiley||Dominic Masline|
|Ribault||Lin Shell||Marlon White|
|Union County||Kepa Sarduy||Andrew Thomas|