Lightning isn’t supposed to strike twice in the same place.
Once again, Carol City’s football team has to face the bittersweet reality of one of its coaches heading to the college ranks.
SFHSSports learned Tuesday morning and confirmed Friday afternoon that Chiefs head coach Aubrey Hill has accepted a position on Marshall University’s coaching staff – likely as wide receivers coach.
Hill led Carol City’s program for four seasons – going 30-16 in that span – and led the Chiefs to the 2016 Class 6A state championship this past December.
Carol City will have to replace Hill as well as defensive coordinator/associate head coach Damon Cogdell, who took a job as a defensive assistant on Charlie Strong’s staff at the University of South Florida.
SFHSSports attempted to reach out to the Carol City administration to confirm whether or not it had named an interim coach, but the calls were not returned.
With Hill, 45, taking his talents to Huntington, West Virginia – Carol City will have to replace the coach that not only led it its first state title in 13 years but also found a way to get to get the best of district rival and South Florida football juggernaut Miami Central.
Over the past two seasons, the Chiefs have defeated the Rockets twice in three meetings. Carol City even handed the former four-time defending state champion Central a 34-7 loss this past season – easily one of the most resounding defeats the Rockets suffered during its dominant run.
Coaching in the college ranks will not be anything new to Hill. After serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater Florida from 1996 to 1998, Hill worked as wide receivers coach at Duke (1999-2003), Elon University (2004) and Pittsburgh (2005-2007).
Hill came back to the state of Florida in 2008, when he joined Randy Shannon’s coaching staff at Miami. He was also retained to be a part of Al Golden’s staff in 2010 before he went to Gainesville to be Florida’s receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
It is no surprise that the Thundering Herd tabbed Hill to be an assistant; given his previous experience combining with the inherent skills he possesses as a leader.
Over the past two seasons with Carol City, Hill launched various campaigns to generate interest and support for the Chiefs’ program – including a nailing down an apparel deal with Adidas and connecting with famous alums, most notably award winning Hip Hop artists Rick Ross and Flo Rida.
Rick Ross, who was known by his given name William Roberts when he played football for the Chiefs and graduated from the school in 1994, visited with the Chiefs at halftime and offered words of encouragement to the team during its state title game against Lake Gibson.
Hill’s departure creates a big void for a Carol City team that was still favored to be amongst the top teams in the South Florida in 2017.
The Chiefs are slated to return one of the most talented running back duos – possibly in the country – in 2019 star Nayquan Wright and 2018 University of Miami commit Camron Davis. Defensively, Carol City – which is scheduled to play against Bradenton IMG Academy in 2017 – will rely on defensive end Yasiir Abdullah and defensive back Randy Russell, another Miami commit.