published Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Red Bank High School hires Chad Grabowski as new head football coach

Hoping to bring back brighter days to its football program, Red Bank High School has dipped into the Sunshine State to find its new head coach.

Chad Grabowski, who had been the head coach at Mount Dora High near Orlando the past five seasons, was hired for the Lions from a list of more than 50 applicants. He succeeds E.K. Slaughter, who resigned in December to take over the program at Heritage in Catoosa County.

"He turned around a program down there that had struggled and was winning eight, nine games a year now," Red Bank principal Justin Robertson said of Grabowski. "We're hoping he can come in here and have similar results, plus he's a guy who really cares about kids, and that was important to us. We also wanted someone who will stay here for a while and bring back the consistency that our program has been lacking.

"We were very impressed with his commitment to preparing kids for college. We have several kids here that we believe can play at the next level, and he is a guy who will work to get them there."

During his five seasons at Mount Dora, the 37-year-old Grabowski coached 26 players who signed college scholarships. He previously spent eight years as an assistant at South Lake (Fla.) High. He played collegiately at Valdosta State, where he later worked as a student coach.

"There are a lot of similarities in the programs and the communities," Grabowski said when asked to compare his former employer with Red Bank. "I know they have a great tradition and high expectations [at Red Bank], and I'm looking forward to getting things back on track."

Grabowski, who has relatives living in Atlanta, will begin working at Red Bank on Feb. 18. The Lions have gone a combined 7-13 the last two seasons, including 3-7 last fall.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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