By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun contributor
BROOKSVILLE- A new chapter of Central High School’s football program has been set with the hiring of the Bears’ next head coach.
Central athletic director Al Sorrentino announced via the school’s athletic website that the Bears have hired Jim Pusateri as the next head football coach of the program. Pusateri replaces Rob Walden, who stepped down as the school’s head coach after the 2020 season. Here is the statement on the school appointing Pusateri as the next lead man in charge.
"After an extensive search, Central High School would like to announce the hiring of Coach Jim Pusateri (Coach P) as the new Head Football Coach. Coach P comes to Bear Country from Conerstone Charter High School in Belle Isle Florida where he was the Head Football Coach and Assistant Athletic Director. He brings many years of experience at all levels of football and has been a successful program builder.
"Central High School Principal Kelly Slusser says, “We are excited to have Coach P to Bear Country and are excited for the positive energy he will bring to our football program.”
"Central High School Athletic Director Al Sorrentino states, “I’m looking forward to seeing Coach P get our football program headed back to respectability. He’s the right man for the job!”
It was a brief tenure for Walden as the head coach at Central, as he lasted two seasons and went 3-13 through 16 games. The Bears during Walden’s time scored 208 points and allowed 572 at an average of 35.7 points per game. Central’s only three wins were over Umatilla, New Port Richey Gulf and Belleview. Walden was a head coach on the middle school level before making the jump to coaching high school football.
This past 2020 season was especially tough on the Bears, as the program scored one touchdown all season long and were out-scored 240 to 6. The spring wasn’t necessarily better for Central either, as they lost in jamboree matchups against Gulf and Mount Dora. Now the team will look to regroup under Pusateri, who is also a former athletic director as well as head coach.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.