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Bobby Ramsay, 2018 Florida Coach of the Year, out as Mandarin head football coach

Under Ramsay, Mandarin became just the second Duval public school to win a football State Championship. Three years later, Ramsay is out at Mandarin.

Three years after a memorable run from 2-8 to the Florida High School Athletic Association championship, Bobby Ramsay is out as Mandarin head football coach, the school announced Thursday.

In a letter to parents, Mandarin athletic director Brian Rado said he had concluded that a "change of leadership" is needed to reach a "higher level of excellence."

"Mr. Ramsay has our greatest appreciation for what he has given to this program and to our students. He is a former state championship football coach, and that should not go unnoticed. However, I do believe that we will be able to improve the overall experience of our players and enhance their ability to achieve goals now and in the future with new leadership for the team," the letter said.

Ramsay had been in charge of the Mustangs since 2017, compiling a record of 28-27 and winning the FHSAA Class 8A championship in 2018. With that victory, Mandarin became only the second Duval County public school to win the state football tournament, joining Raines.

Ramsay — one of three men to win an FHSAA football championship at a Gateway Conference school, along with Welton Coffey and Deran Wiley — said he was "surprised but not shocked" by the news.

"They felt it was time to go in a different direction... I'm at peace with it," he told the Times-Union. 

Ramsay holds a career record of 91-62, including nine seasons in charge of Yulee, where he reached the Class 4A state semifinal in 2012. He has coached two winners of the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football award, all-time national rushing leader Derrick Henry (2012) and state title-winning quarterback Carson Beck (2018).

Ramsay received the Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year award in 2018, when the Mustangs rallied from a 2-3 start to win the Class 8A championship.

"We'll always have that team," Ramsay said. "That group will always be state champions. That's very special, and Mandarin gave me an opportunity to accomplish that."

Ramsay said he hasn't yet begun to determine his next step following his exit from the Mandarin coaching post.

"I'm excited about seeing what may come along next, whether that's in coaching or not," he said.

The athletic department has scheduled a meeting with Mandarin players Friday afternoon. Rado's letter said Mandarin is immediately beginning the search for a new coach, and the school expects to complete the hiring in early 2022.