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TC coach resigns after six games

By SCOTT PURKS

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000


TAMPA -- John Diehl resigned Wednesday as Tampa Catholic's football coach six games into the season and less than seven months after he uprooted his family from upstate New York to take the job.

A press release said Diehl left "for personal reasons," but no further explanation was given.

Tampa Catholic officials said Diehl's mother died a few weeks ago, but they denied further comment.

TC principal Brother David McMahon's only statement was in the release: "The Tampa Catholic community would like to thank John for his time here at the school and we wish him the best in the future." Diehl, reached at his home, also denied comment.

Diehl replaced Bob Henriquez, who resigned Jan. 27 along with his coaching staff. Most of TC's staff ended up at Jefferson with Henriquez, now serving as an assistant.

At the time of his resignation, Henriquez said the decision had nothing to do with him also serving as a member of Florida's House of Representatives, to which he currently is seeking re-election.

Henriquez said his resignation was because of differences in opinion with the TC administration on where the program was headed.

When he heard the news Wednesday, Henriquez said he was disappointed. "It's tragic, and my sympathies go out to Coach Diehl," Henriquez said. "I'm also still willing to help in any way possible if the seniors on that team need help in looking for college opportunities."

In the interim, Curran Lane, TC's former junior varsity coach and current assistant will coach the team. He could not be reached for comment.

TC was 1-5 this season.

Diehl came to TC with 21 years of coaching experience and a 133-45 coaching record. He also had served as a principal at an elementary school.

TC had made the playoffs seven consecutive years before this season.

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