‘Perfect fit’: Ribault hires Pinckney as its new football coach

Former Ribault Middle School head football coach Aaron 'Ram' Pinckney celebrates a championship. He was hired by Ribault High School on Tuesday. (Aaron Pinckney)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ribault has filled its football coaching position, tabbing Aaron Pinckney to lead the Trojans.

Pinckney, better known by his nickname, ‘Ram,’ served as Ribault Middle School’s head coach for the past four seasons and won back-to-back city championships. He also spent two seasons on the Trojans’ varsity coaching staff under previous coach Anthony Flynn.

Pinckney replaces Marlon White, who resigned after two seasons and a 4-16 record. The Trojans are coming off a 1-9 season.

“It was just like a perfect fit right about now. A lot of the kids I had coached already are there,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of eighth graders coming off back-to-back championships. It’s going to be exciting.”

The Trojans’ hire of White was a change in the norm as Ribault hired him from a program in North Carolina. In Pinckney, the Trojans stayed as close to home as it gets.

And he couldn’t be more excited to get going.

“I had to come from the bottom, from Pop Warner, to middle school and now this. It’s perfect man,” Pinckney said. “It just felt like a good fit. It just worked. It feels right. A lot of kids are familiar with me already.”

Pinckney is the fourth different head or interim coach since 2019. Trojans alum Kelvin Smith spent three seasons coaching Ribault, going 19-14 with three playoff berths before being removed from his position two weeks before the 2019 season. Lin Shell was named the interim coach for that season and White was hired as the head coach in 2020.

Ribault was one of two premier positions open in the Gateway Conference this season. Mandarin replaced Bobby Ramsay with Toby Bullock. Brunswick, Ga. has a vacancy with Sean Pender announcing his departure last week. Orange Park filled its open spot this week with the hire of Marcus Wimberly.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.