Sunlake fills three coaching spots

Published May 17, 2007

LAND O'LAKES - Sunlake High didn't look far for its first baseball coach, officially announcing longtime Land O'Lakes assistant Billy Garcia would be the school's first skipper.

Garcia's hiring was one of three made official by principal Angie Stone, who also filled the boys basketball and volleyball positions.

Former Countryside coach Bob Marinak was tabbed to run the basketball program, while Pasco's volleyball coach the past four seasons, Ramiro Tejada, is jumping cross county to take the same position at Sunlake.

Garcia was part of a coaching staff that has helped make Land O'Lakes one of the premier baseball programs in the county. The Gators were district champions this past season and have made the playoffs four of the last five years.

Marinak, 41, recently finished his fourth season with the Cougars, but was dismissed after going 9-18.

He applied at Wesley Chapel in 2003 after a stint at North Marion where in two seasons he turned a 6-20 team into a 14-15 team and has been active in basketball camps and the University of Florida.

Sunlake originally offered the basketball job to Nature Coast coach Travis Priddy, who accepted another job.

Tejada coached the Pirates for five seasons, taking them to the playoffs in his rookie season in 2003. Last year, Pasco finished .500 but had to deal with losing its gym on multiple occasions, cutting into practice time.

John C. Cotey can be reached at 727-869-6261 or johncotey@gmail.com