SEBRING -- The Sebring board of education Wednesday hired Joe Lee, a lifetime resident of the district and 1983 graduate of Sebring High, as the varsity football coach.
Lee has been an assistant coach at Sebring for 12 years, most recently serving as head of the junior high football program. Lee also has spent the past three years working with the Sebring pee-wee football program.
Sebring has fallen on hard times in the varsity football program over recent years with losing seasons and low player turnout. This past season Sebring had 19 players on the varsity roster.
Denies request: On Wednesday, The Tri-County League board of control voted to deny Sebring's request to remain in the league with the exception of football.
The proposal asked for a constitutional change that would allow the Trojans to stay in the TCL while not playing varsity football in it.
The amendment proposal failed to receive an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the board.
Sebring is a charter member of the TCL.
Lee said he had been approached about the head coaching position by some of the football team members and noted he planned to stay in the position for the long term.
He attributed part of Sebring's football woes to the turnover in coaching, noting there have been six head coaches in the twelve years he's been with the program.
He said he had been working with students in the weight room and pointed out there were 22 students present at Wednesday's session who have committed to playing football in the fall, an increase of three over last year. He said he believed those numbers would increase.
Lee and his wife, Tina, own Sebring Candle Company and have two children, Joey, 11 and Madison, 4, with a third child expected in September.