BROOKSVILLE - A legend in his time, former area high school football coach Willard "Dub" Palmer died on Thursday. He was 81.
Born in Plant City, Mr. Palmer coached 11 teams around the state - including Hernando, Pasco and Wildwood - and was among an elite group of Florida high school coaches with 200-plus wins. He compiled a 232-69-9 record (seventh-most wins in state history) over a 34-year span before stepping down from head coaching in 1988.
Mr. Palmer won five state championships and never had a losing season. He also coached several players who went on to professional careers, such as the late Philadelphia Eagle star Jerome Brown, who played for Hernando in the early 1980s. Mr. Palmer was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
A viewing will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. today and a funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in Brooksville. Both are open to the public.