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Northside shuffles athletic hierarchy

Bob Dare is out as athletic director, but may remain as football coach.

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 22, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG -- Bob Dare, the athletic director at Northside Christian since 1989, will not return in that position after the school year, said headmaster Rick Newberry.

Newberry said he is looking to "redefine" the position by making it more administrative, meaning Dare's replacement will not be allowed to coach.

"No one has been fired at Northside Christian," Newberry said. "What we are working through right now is administrative restructuring, and I am making some decisions on how that would affect some individuals."

Those individuals are Dare and dean of students Larry Webster, who also coaches softball.

Newberry said Webster's position is being eliminated due to streamlining, but he has been offered another job as well as retaining his duties as softball coach.

"Both individuals will be asked to continue to stay."

Dare has the option of staying on as football coach, a position he has held for 13 seasons, and doing more teaching. Newberry said Dare had not decided if he will accept.

Dare was unavailable for comment.

Newberry said Northside high and middle schools have 27 sports teams, too much in his opinion for a coach and A.D. to handle along with the other duties typically associated with the position.

Newberry stressed that the restructuring was not related to the expulsion of baseball star Lastings Milledge, which occurred just three days after he led the Mustangs to the state baseball finals in June. School officials took criticism for the way they handled it and the timing.

Northside was eventually fined $2,500, the athletic program was placed on administrative probation for the next two years and the baseball team was banned from postseason play for one season by the Florida High School Activities Association after it was discovered that Milledge and others had their tuition paid by a booster.

Northside Baptist Church pastor Scott Boggs said at the time he was going to look into why Dare hadn't made sure the athletic program was in compliance with the FHSAA rules, since that was his responsibility.

Dare is 80-71 as the Mustangs football coach, and also coached basketball at one time.

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