Former Illinois, Western Michigan football coach takes over at Fla. high school

Former Illinois, Western Michigan football coach takes over at Fla. high school

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Former Illinois, Western Michigan football coach takes over at Fla. high school

The next chapter of Martin County High School’s football program will be written by the same coach who authored one of its most successful runs.

Bill Cubit, the former University of Illinois and Western Michigan head coach, was introduced as Martin County’s coach Wednesday morning.

Cubit, 63, coached at Martin County from 1986-88, guiding the team to a 30-6 record and back-to-back district titles.

“When you’re out for a little you realize how much you miss coaching,” said Cubit, who last coached at Illinois in 2015. “My wife, Nancy, she feels the same way. We both talk about it. I would sit and watch games and I have a little notebook where I would diagram plays.

“This gives me an opportunity to stay here. We’ve had a house here the last eight years. This is a special place for me. This gives me the opportunity to do something I really love at a place I really love.”

Cubit replaces Chuck Kenyon, Martin County’s all-time winningest coach, who left the program in March to take the same position at Sebastian River High School.

While Martin County has reached the regional semifinals four of the past six years, Cubit’s first stint with program remains the pinnacle.

He led the Tigers to consecutive 11-win seasons, the program’s first state ranking since the 1950s and a Class 5A semifinal appearance against USA Today No. 1 Pensacola-Pine Forest in 1988.

“Really this isn’t much different from my first time here,” Cubit said. “All throughout my career, people would ask me what’s my favorite place I’ve been at. Stanford? Florida? Missouri? I’ve always said one of my favorite stops was Martin County High School. They would look at me funny, but it was always a special place.”

In addition to compiling a 90-72-1 record as a college head coach at Division III Widener (Pennsylvania), Illinois and Western Michigan, Cubit has been an assistant coach or offensive coordinator at Florida, Stanford, Missouri, Rutgers and Akron.

“When you look at his head coaching experience, the way he can build on community relations and his college relationships, it was check after check after check on our list,” Martin County athletic director Mark Cowles said. “Coach Cubit is a guy who owns a room. He has the presence as a football coach. And his resume and acumen — I don’t think you’ll find a better résumé for a high school coach than coach Cubit.”

Cubit has made 13 stops during his coaching career, but says his second stint with Martin County will be his last.

“I’m done,” Cubit said. “This is where I’m at. We’ve loved living here. This is it for me. There’s more to life than jumping all over the county.

“I still think high school coaches have more influence over young people than anyone out there.”

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