By Rob Todor
D.J. Ogilvie has made a habit out of rebuilding high school football programs.
He’s taking on a new challenge in the Sunshine State.
Ogilvie, 42, confirmed on Thursday he has accepted the head coaching position at Lemon Bay High School in Englewood, Fla.
A Boardman High graduate, Ogilvie coached the Spartans for the past seven years, compiling a record of 30-43 with playoff appearances in 2007 and 2009.
Prior to that he led the United High program to a 36-24 record over six seasons.
He’ll take over a Lemon Bay program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2003 and finished 3-8 in 2010.
“I applied [online] and a couple of hours they called me and asked me to come down for an interview,” said Ogilvie, who led Boardman to a 6-4 record in 2010. “They saw what we did at Boardman, rebuilding that program, and that’s what they want me to do there.”
Ogilvie’s most difficult chore was telling his Spartans on Thursday.
“Like I told them, my prorities are faith, family and football,” said Ogilvie.
“I grew up in Boardman, I played here. And when I came back to coach here it fulfilled a dream I always had.
“But my family has all moved away or passed away. I have a sister who recently moved to Florida, and my wife I began to look there as a place we might relocate.”
Lemon Bay — the school’s mascot is a manatee — is located in Charlotte County on the Gulf Coast. It’s located about one hour south of Bradenton, Fla., spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“My sons and I are huge baseball fans, so I expect we’ll be taking in some spring training games,” said Ogilvie.
That’s not all he’ll do in the spring. Florida high schools are allowed 20 days of spring football practice.
“The whole deal there is the weather,” Ogilvie said. “Their baseball team has played eight games already.”
Ogilvie teaches high school math and will have a position on the faculty at Lemon Bay. His wife, Toni, teaches middle school math and will also be offered a faculty position in the district.
The couple are parents of four children, Sydni, 15; Kelsi, 13; Brutus, 8, and Andrew, 5.
A call to Boardman athletic director Dave Smercansky was not returned on Thursday.