South Florida’s high school football coach’s fraternity lost a good member Monday.
Dennis Marroquin announced via social media that he would be stepping down as head football coach of Champagnat Catholic after three seasons to pursue other non-coaching opportunities.
Dear LIONS, pic.twitter.com/f8e501Jvd2
— Dennis Marroquin (@Coach_Marroquin) January 29, 2018
Marroquin led the Lions to back-to-back appearance in the Class 2A state title game the past two years. Champagnat won the 2A crown this past December, defeating Jacksonville University Christian – the team that denied the Lions a title in 2016 – to become the first Miami-Dade County private school to win multiple football state championships.
Since starting its varsity football program in 2010, Champagnat has made the playoffs five times – 2011 through 2013, 2016 and 2017 – and impressively, the Lions have played for a state title three times in that span. The Lions won the 2A title in 2013 under former head coach Mike Tunsil.
Hired as Champagnat’s head coach before the start of the 2015 after spending years as an assistant at Hialeah, Marroquin went 3-7 in his first year at the helm. He quickly turned the fortunes, going 20-4 over the next two seasons.
This past season, the Lions averaged just under 33 points per game while shutting five of their 11 opponents – including allowing just 19 points through four playoff games.
Marroquin seemed to get the best out of 6-foot-6 defensive end Gregory Rousseau, who was signed with Miami during the early signing period, as well as linebacker and FIU signee Donovan Georges.
A part of the reason for Marroquin’s meteoric rise was his also leading the Florida Fire All-Star 7-on-7 program. Many of Marroquin’s players were with him essentially year-round, honing their skills and winning multiple local and national 7-on-7 tournaments under his guide.
The timing of Marroquin’s announcement comes as even more of a surprise given the Florida Fire won the Pylon 7v7 Orlando Regional Tournament this past weekend.
Still, Marroquin leaves Champagnat – theoretically – in good shape for the future. While his departure could set in motion the transferring of many of the Lions’ young talented players, the team’s next coach could have elite 2020 prospects linebacker Jesus Machado and receivers Johnquai Lewis and Marc Britt on the roster.