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This profile was last updated on 6/15/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Rick Darlington

Wrong Rick Darlington?

Football Coach

Apopka High

Employment History


  • B.B.A. , Business Management
    Stetson University
  • B.B.A. , Business Management form Stetson University
  • B.B.A. , Business Management
200 Total References
Web References
They include Apopka football coach ..., 15 June 2013 [cached]
They include Apopka football coach Rick Darlington, who saw his son Zack lead the Blue Darters to a state championship in December at the Florida Citrus Bowl, and West Orange's Bobby Brewer, who has coached two daughters in softball and one son in baseball during his high-school coaching career.
It's awesome to get one, much ..., 4 Nov 2008 [cached]
It's awesome to get one, much less two in the game," said Apopka head coach Rick Darlington. "They're good guys and good friends. It's nice for them."
"They're really special young men," Darlington said about Gallon and Mars.
Teach those running backs how to hit the hole," Darlington said jokingly to his senior star as he handed him a whistle. High School Sports, 25 Feb 2003 [cached]
Rick Darlington was introduced as the new football coach at Valdosta, Ga., High Monday night, and he got an early taste of the passion for high school football in a city nicknamed "Winnersville."
The announcement was held in a 1,200-seat city auditorium to accommodate fans who wanted to meet the new coach, who had a 37-11 record at Apopka, including a Class 6A state title in 2001.
Valdosta, located 15 miles north of the Florida-Georgia border off I-75, is the winningest high school program in the nation with an 802-165-34 record (.818) in 90 years of football.That includes 23 Georgia state championships and six unofficial national titles.
"Lakeland High had tradition, and I grew up in that," Darlington said of his days as a high school player."I like the challenge of living up to tradition."
But no school in Florida has tradition like Valdosta.The Wildcats sell out big games in an 11,000-seat stadium, have a 1,300-member booster club and have their own weekly half-hour TV highlights show.
With all the frills comes pressure.
Darlington, 37, will double his salary, with reports from Valdosta indicating he will receive a new truck and an annual salary between $80,000 and $90,000.O'Brien's contract was worth $83,911.50 annually.
And after teaching six English classes at Apopka, Darlington now will focus almost solely on football as head coach and athletic director.With an assistant athletic director on staff, Darlington's primary focus will be overseeing a football program that reaches down to the sixth-grade level.
King said Apopka's search for a new coach is in a holding pattern until assistants to Darlington decide whether or not they will join him in Valdosta.
The Blue Darters are 184-88 over the past 25 seasons, though they slipped to 2-8 in 1998 before Darlington was hired away from Eustis, where he had gone 21-12 in his first stint as a head coach (1996-98).
Darlington laid down his law and rebuilt the Apopka program around young players who bought into his no-nonsense approach.The Blue Darters started six sophomores on a 6-4 team in 1999, then won a district title in 2000 and followed that with a 6A championship in 2001 -- the first outright title in history for an Orange County public school football team.After graduating 28 seniors from the state title team, Apopka finished 8-3 last fall.
"I'll miss Rick personally and professionally," Apopka Principal John Edwards said.
"He is going to be a ... [cached]
"He is going to be a great player," Apopka coach Rick Darlington said about Burch.
LINCOLN - Rick Darlington has ..., 24 Dec 2013 [cached]
LINCOLN - Rick Darlington has conducted enough interviews in the last four months to politely make a point - but purposefully make it clear.
I'm not going to play again, am I? Zack asked Rick with tears in his eyes. Tears - of fear, of relief, of resolve - were not in short supply that weekend.
You aren't going to play your senior season, Rick told him.
Rick returned in 2006 to be head coach for a second stint in Apopka, just northwest of Orlando. The Darlingtons settled in as Apopka became a powerhouse in Florida's largest class, 8A, annually producing multiple FBS recruits. Zack ascended to starting quarterback, while Rick designed and called plays for the Blue Darters' offense, inspired in part by the philosophy of former Husker coach Tom Osborne, who ran power football out of a dizzying number of sets.
Rick took Zack in his gray Chevy Silverado to the hospital.
Rick consulted with several doctors, including Dr. Semyon Slobounov, a professor and scientist at Penn State whose focus, according to PSU's website, is "sports-related traumatic brain injuries.
"At first, I was mad at him for staying in bounds," Rick said.
Said Rick: "I wasn't surprised, because that's the kind of man Coach Pelini is."
Rick noticed that his son's personality, his character, didn't change after his high school career ended. Same enthusiasm. Same competitive juices.
"He's the same whether he's on top of the world or whether he's not playing football," Rick said. "He's been very consistent. That's a silver lining."
Meanwhile, Rick had to retool his offense. He put Cox, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound bruiser, in the single wing. Handoffs every which way. And it worked.
A Sentinel columnist wrote that Rick "could easily be the next Gus Malzahn" - the Auburn head coach who parlayed his own high school single-wing into one national title for the Tigers as offensive coordinator and an appearance in this season's BCS title game, which will be played in two weeks.
Rick's a coach. So while Rick knows his son will play football at NU, he knows something else, too, when it comes to sliding.
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