Galloway Township native McKinley Rolle didn't think he would become a high school football coach until later in life. Not for at least another 10 years.
But at 26, he received a great offer. Rolle, the older brother of Tennessee Titans safety Myron Rolle, became the head coach for Lecanto High School in Citrus County, Fla., earlier this month.
"I really wanted to become an (athletic director) or a coach," Rolle said. "I didn't think it would be now, but it was just there for me and I had to go for it and grasp it."
Rolle, a 2002 Holy Spirit High School graduate, didn't see just the gridiron when he applied for the job. He considered the student-athletes as well. Rolle said Lecanto has not been a good football school, but that's not for lack of talent among the student body.
Many of the school's best athletes have not come out for the football team. Rolle said in the few weeks he's been at the school, where he is currently a substitute teacher, he's already recruited five players to join the team next season and is working on getting more.
Part of the reason for his success is his age. He's able to relate to the students easily, he said.
"That's probably the reason I got the job," said Rolle, who earned an undergraduate degree from St. John's University and a Masters from Florida State. "I am able to relate to them because I know how they think."
Rolle will be on the school's staff next season. He will be a health teacher, which he thinks will also help with the team. He likes knowing he is going to be visible on campus.
Rolle doesn't want to stop here. He has aspirations of becoming an athletic director or coaching in college.
But for now, Rolle intends to work at raising the level of play at Lecanto.
However, he also hopes to inspire the students to do more in life and become an example. Rolle had his brother Myron speak to the players last week as well.
"They can see two successful people. I want them to see that," McKinley Rolle said. "We went two different ways, but we're still successful."
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