When Carol City found out that it was going to have to replace not only its head coach but also its associate head coach/defensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting, it would’ve been easy for the administration to make a knee-jerk decision.
That’s not what they did.
The defending Class 6A state champs took their time and now they have their man.
It was confirmed Monday morning that Carol City hired former Hallandale head coach Benedict “Dub” Hyppolite to be its next head football coach.
Hyppolite takes over for Aubrey Hill, who left the high school ranks weeks ago originally to take a job at Marshall University before he ultimately took the position of wide receivers coach at Florida International University.
Damon Cogdell, who served as Carol City’s defensive coordinator and associate head coach this past season, took a job as a defensive assistant at the University of South Florida in early February.
Hyppolite, 27, goes to the Miami Gardens program after spending one season as a head coach at Hallandale. He led the Chargers to a 4-6 in 2016. Hyppolite comes from the Tim “Ice” Harris “coaching tree” – playing for Harris at Booker T. Washington before working under him as an assistant coach.
Hyppolite also worked as an assistant at Edison before becoming the Tornadoes’ offensive coordinator for their 2015 Class 4A state championship team.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity, it is my dream job,” Hyppolite said. “When I got into coaching, I always wanted to earn a job like this one – at a program that is rich in history and rich in tradition. Carol City has been led by great men before in coach [Walt] Frazier and coach [Aubrey] Hill – I just want to carry on that tradition, grow as a coach and continue to lead this program to higher heights.”
“I’m like a toddler in a toy store,” Hyppolite said.
Hyppolite does walk into a program that is stocked with plenty of “toys” in the way of multiple talented football players.
The Chiefs return one of the state’s best running back tandems in Nayquan Wright (2019) and Camron Davis (2018). The two physically dominant runners combined to rush for more than 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season. While Wright missed time with a leg injury, it was Davis who carried the Chiefs through the playoffs; until Wright’s return in the Class 6A title game – where he scored both of the Chiefs’ touchdowns in the 14-6 victory.
Quarterback Marlon Smith should be the incumbent starter while Carol City’s defense will be anchored by defensive end Yasiir Abdullah and defensive back Randy Russell, also a UM verbal commit.
Hyppolite confirmed Monday that he would be bringing in Derrick Richburg to serve as defensive coordinator and Ed Williams to serve as offensive coordinator. Richburg worked with Hyppolite at Hallandale this past season while Williams spent the past handful of years at North Miami, before being let go this past December.
Hyppolite and his new staff will have big shoes to fill and walk into a pressure cooker of a schedule for the 2017 season.
Hill went 30-16 in his four years of leading the Chiefs and built a 2017 slate that is said to include games at Bradenton IMG Academy and Lakeland High, as well as an early-season tilt with Broward County power Deerfield Beach, on top of having to go through the wringer that is District 16-6A – against Norland, Miami Central and rival Miami Northwestern.
Hyppolite said he’s up for the challenges that lie ahead.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,” Hyppolite said.
“The goal is still the same…win state championships. I want to surround myself with goal-oriented people. But the big thing that I want the players to know is that coach loves them and coach will always be there for them through the good and the bad. Beyond that, it’s all about working.”