Tocoi Creek hires Englewood’s Zach Harbison as its next football coach

Tocoi Creek hired Zach Harbison as its new football coach on Tuesday. (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tocoi Creek has its second head football coach in program history.

The Toros announced the hire of Zach Harbison on Tuesday morning to lead the program as it enters its third year of play. Harbison, who spent the last three seasons helping get Englewood back to football stability, becomes just the second coach in Tocoi Creek history. He replaces Mike Kolakowski, who retired after two seasons building the Toros from the ground up.

“I think that’s what the most exciting thing is, it’s a new program, but a good new program,” Harbison said. “What Coach K left is really strong. I don’t want to rock the boat too much because he left it in really good shape. We just want to take this program to a really high level.”

Harbison did a solid job with the Rams. In his three seasons there, he finished with an 11-17 mark. The last two years, though, Englewood was a combined 9-11. The Rams haven’t finished over .500 since 2006 (they were 6-4), although Harbison did get them to 5-5 in 2021.

Being able to win and compete at Englewood is a major accomplishment. Tocoi Creek provides a better situation across the board, with the realistic potential to be a playoff team in 2023.

High school football coaching changes

SchoolFormer coachNew coach
Atlantic CoastMike MontemayorStep Durham
Bartram TrailDarrell SutherlandCory Johns
Christ’s ChurchKoreen BurchVacant
ColumbiaDemetric JacksonBrian Allen
EnglewoodZach HarbisonVacant
Flagler Palm CoastRobert PaxiaVacant
Fleming IslandDamenyum SpringsChad Parker
Fort WhiteLee DorsettDemetric Jackson
HilliardWaylon CoxDaniel Thomas
JacksonChristopher FoyVacant
Keystone HeightsChuck DickinsonSteve Reynolds
MenendezMatt Potak/Ben WhiteVacant
OakleafMarcus Miller (interim)Christopher Foy
Tocoi CreekMike KolakowskiZach Harbison
West NassauRickey ArmstrongGunnar Cox
WolfsonStep DurhamJermaine Wilson

Kolakowski got the Toros up to speed quickly. Tocoi Creek, which opened in 2021 near the World Golf Village in St. Johns County, went 3-5 in its first season. They chased a state playoff berth down to the final week last year before finishing 6-4.

Harbison said that he’s seen film of the Toros through common opponents and noticed similiarities between his former team and his new one.

“They’re a really tough group. They don’t beat themselves, which is something we did at Englewood, too,” Harbison said. “We have to maximize our talent and not beat ourselves.”

It has been an active offseason for area coaching moves, especially in St. Johns and Nassau counties. Bartram Trail’s Darrell Sutherland, Menendez’s Matt Potak and Kolakowski all resigned following the season. The Falcons went on to hire Ben White, but he resigned unexpectedly earlier this month.

In Nassau, Gunnar Cox replaced Rickey Armstrong at West Nassau. And Hilliard’s position was filled by alum Daniel Thomas, who played in the NFL after being a second-round pick of the Dolphins.

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.