Mickey Groody?s first head coaching job is the one he?s wanted for a while.
The former Vero Beach High School assistant has been named the new head coach and future athletic director at John Carroll Catholic High School.
?It really was a dream job for me,? said Groody, 29. ?I went to St. Thomas Aquinas (High School in Fort Lauderdale), so I was raised in a Catholic high school setting and I?ve had my eye on that job for a while ? even after (former John Carroll coach) Mike (Watkins) left. I?m really excited about it.?
Groody, an All-American punter at Florida Atlantic, has been at Vero Beach for six years. He was the special teams coordinator, running backs coach and freshman head coach the past three seasons. He also is Vero Beach?s flag football coach.
Groody replaces Chris Hutchings, who resigned after two seasons to become the head coach at Fort Pierce Westwood in January. ?
?I?m really excited about adding him to the staff here,? John Carroll principal Ben Hopper said. ?I think he?s the perfect fit for the school and the program and I think he will be able to continue its success. I think for us it was his commitment to developing a program that?s going to be committed to winning. He?s committed to the school?s mission and he?s committed to building young men of character.
?His eagerness and desire to be working in Catholic school environment was big for him and obviously that was attractive to us.?
This is the second time in six years that John Carroll has tabbed to a Vero Beach assistant. The Golden Rams hired Watkins, a former offensive coordinator, in 2012 and he led them to the Southeastern Football Conference championship in 2013 and the District 6-3A title in 2015 ? the program?s first district championship in a decade.
?We certainly are hoping for the same kind of positive impact as Mike Watkins, who also was under the tutelage of (Vero Beach coach) Lenny Jankowski,? Hopper said.
Jankowski has been grooming Groody for a head coaching opportunity for the past three seasons. Groody was named freshman team coach so he would have experience running a program.
?I think it?s a really good fit and I think that?s important in coaching with such an important role for the school,? Jankowski said. ?The last several years he?s asked for more responsibility and one of his ultimate goals was to be a head coach, so this is exciting for him and its exciting for John Carroll as well.?
Groody said John Carroll?s offensive and defensive schemes will be similar to Vero Beach?s.
?As the head coach of the freshman team, a lot of what we did is use the same language and the same schemes as the varsity team,? Groody said. ?I?ll definitely put my own type of spin on thing, but a lot of the offense and defensive will come from here ? especially with it being so successful.?
The Golden Rams went 2-7 last year and have had several players transfer since the end of the season, including all-area defensive end/linebacker Jahfari Harvey (Vero Beach) and wide receiver Myles Youngblood (St. Lucie West Centennial).
Groody said he?s looking forward to the opportunity, though.
?Some people may look at that as a bad thing, but I?m excited about getting people excited about John Carroll football again,? Groody said. ?The offense is fun to play in and it?s fun to watch. I think people will see the product we put on the field and that will get people excited about John Carroll football.?