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Coach Bob Hudson changes mind, stays at East Lake

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Mon. July 20, 2015 | Bob Putnam | Email

Coach Bob Hudson changes mind, stays at East Lake

East Lake’s Bob Hudson, who walked away as football coach two weeks ago, had a change of heart and returned to the program on Monday, athletic coordinator Tim O’Keefe said.

Hudson initially announced his resignation on July 6 to take another job outside of the teaching and coaching profession. But he never signed any resignation papers.

“I found out I would still be able to coach and accomplish things that I needed to take care of,” Hudson said.

Hudson is entering his 13th season with the Eagles, currently the third-longest tenure of any coach in Pinellas County. He is 91-48 as East Lake’s coach and has guided the program to four straight region final appearances and two straight trips to the state semifinals. The Eagles also own a 25-game regular-season win streak.

The players found out about Hudson’s return during Monday’s workout.

“I was so excited,” offensive tackle Julian Santos said. “I felt like I was losing family my senior year. Now it’s so much better having him another year. 

“He wants the best for us and tries to teach us lessons through the game about life. He’s just like family looking out for us and keeping us in line. He’s always there whether it’s football or just life in general.”

Despite graduating several starters, East Lake is expected to contend for another district title and make another deep playoff run. In the spring, the Eagles beat Osceola 62-28.

“I’m excited, not just for this team, but because it’s football and I still get to do what I love,” Hudson said. 

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