1926 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives, Leesburg High 7, St. Cloud High, Friday, October 22, 1926, Cooke Field, Home of the JacketsCarver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida, Page 1, Friday, October 22, 1926, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
1926 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives, Leesburg High 7, St. Cloud High, Friday, October 22, 1926, Cooke Field, Home of the JacketsCarver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida, Page 1, Friday, October 22, 1926, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
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1926 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives, Leesburg High 7, St. Cloud High, Friday, October 22, 1926, Cooke Field, Home of the JacketsCarver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida, Page 1, Friday, October 22, 1926, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
1926 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives, Leesburg High 7, St. Cloud High, Friday, October 22, 1926, Cooke Field, Home of the JacketsCarver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida, Page 1, Friday, October 22, 1926, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
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Weir Today, Gone Tomorrow: Coach Quits
Sports
Leesburg Chief Steps Down To Take Job At Stuart Martin.
March 18, 1992|By Joe Williams Of The Sentinel Staff
Orlando Sentinel
Updated: Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 2:49 p.m.

LEESBURG — After three years of building a winning foundation for Leesburg High School's football
program, coach Ken Weir is ready to take the next step. Unfortunately, he won't be taking that step at
Leesburg.

Weir, 42, told his football players Tuesday morning that he was leaving Leesburg to take over the
football program at Stuart Martin County. Weir, and assistant coach Garry Johnson who also will be
going to Martin County, will put in their final day at Leesburg April 3.

''The community support here has been fantastic,'' Weir said. ''It really showed up this (past) year and
made it one of those truly fantastic years.

''It was really a tough decision to make. We are talking about leaving behind some really fine kids and
football players. That made the decision very difficult. But there were other factors I had to consider, my
family and everything else. I couldn't take a chance of passing this up. Money was definitely a factor.''

In leaving, Weir is going from a growing program to one that already has grown and could be on the
verge of becoming a state power. Under Weir, Leesburg was 18-12, including 8-2 this past season.
Martin County was 9-3 last year and won both district and regional championships. Over the past six
years, the Tigers have been 53-15 and won three district championships, three regionals, one
sectional and one bowl game. Both Martin County and Leesburg are Class AAAA schools in football.

Martin County is losing only three players to graduation. Leesburg grduates six players, only three of
which were impact players.

''We were looking for someone ready to take us up the next step with the talent we have returning,''
Martin County athletic director Jeff Carson said. ''We had about 26 people apply for the job and we
talked to a number of people from around the state and I think they all told us he (Weir) was among the
top five coaches in Florida.

''I think everybody in the (search) committee realized this was the guy for us.''

Weir knows he is stepping into a pressure situation.

''You don't lose (at Martin County),'' Weir said. ''That is understood going in and I don't have a problem
with that.''

In Weir, Martin County got a coach who has playoff experience. Weir has been a head coach for six
years, spending his first three at Class AAAAA Dunedin High School where he had a 28-10 record and
took the Falcons to state championship games in 1986 and '87. Dunedin lost both games, 14-10, to
Lakeland in '86 and, 24-0, to Pensacola Pine Forest in '87.

Weir also steps into a position that has had high profile coaches in the past. Former University of
Miami and Buffalo Bills coach Lou Saban spent some time there as a head coach. Former University
of Central Florida assistant Bill Cubit spent three years there and, most recently, Bill Zwaan was the
head coach. Zwaan was hired away from Martin County in January to coach at Widener University in
Philadelphia.

Carson said it was Cubit who started to turn around the school's reputation from being a basketball
power to one that also was a football power. Cubit instituted the Wing-T offense, something better
suited for the smaller players at Martin County. Zwaan continued that tradition. Weir is not a Wing-T
coach, but at Leesburg he coached the same size players with success by running the Wishbone and,
last year, what he called the 'I-Bone.'

''We don't have 280-pound linemen so we had to find a coach who wouldn't come out and line up in the
Power-I and try to blow people off the ball,'' Carson said. ''With Ken's offense, even though it is not the
Wing-T, it is the same type of offense. It is the kind of offense that is suitable to our kids.''

Weir said he was not aggressively pursuing another job, but when he heard about the opening at
Martin County, he checked it out. He also made Polk aware of his situation.

''We intend to keep it (the progress in the football program) rolling,'' Polk said. ''We will miss Ken Weir
a lot. He has done a great job and with the people we have coming back we are hoping to attract some
good applicants.

''We were hoping Ken wouldn't take it (the job), but he had an opportunity to go down there and we
couldn't equal it. Their starting salary at Stuart Martin County is $30,000 and we are at $22,000. I think it
was mostly an economic situation.''

Weir is leaving in early April to get settled at Martin County and prepare for the opening of spring drills
May 1. Polk said he hopes to have Weir's replacement also hired in time for practice. He said he
began work on finding a replacement Tuesday morning and Ed Hoffman, Weir's defensive coordinator,
has shown interest in the job. He said he had not yet spoken with George Fuller, Weir's other
assistant, who spent one season as the head coach at Eustis High School.

''I want a good teacher who can coach,'' Polk said. ''I think the thing that is going to be hard for me to do
in hiring someone new and bringing them in is at the same time we are letting six or seven people go
(because of cutbacks). The timing is really bad. In another year from now, when the economic climiate
is better, it would be easier. I'm really limited in hiring right now.''

Weir leaves Leesburg having accomplished most of what he set out to do.

''I feel like when I came in here, I set some goals. I didn't reach them all, but I reached a bunch of
them,'' Weir said. ''I feel like we made a lot of strides to making the program solid. We had a strength
goal that we needed to reach if we wanted to compete with Seminole and we have about reached that.
There was an attitude goal that we needed to reach and we did.

''We set a goal of wanting to have a winning record and we accomplished that one. But one of the big
goals was to win a district championship and we didn't do that.''

Leesburg has been involved in a three-way tie for the district championship with Seminole and
Edgewater both of the last two years and has lost in a tiebreaker.

''We are going to take the same kind of approach Martin County did,'' Polk said. ''We are going to find
someone who can take us to the next level.''