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The Marco Island Academy has hired its third head football coach in the school’s short history.

Damon Coiro brings youth, enthusiasm, head-coaching experience and a history of winning football to the job.

Coiro replaces Greg Fowler, who led the academy the past two seasons.

Kelly Monnot, the academy’s dean of students-athletic director is thrilled about the hire. The academy chose Coiro over 50 other applicants.

“We think he is the perfect fit for our future vision for the program,” Monnot said.

The 35-year-old Coiro has three years of head coaching experience. His Grimsley (Greensboro, N.C.) teams were 8-24 from 2010-2012.

After a 1-10 rookie season as head coach, Coiro’s teams improved to 3-8 then 4-6 by his third season.

“Grimsely was a great experience for me to cut my teeth as a head coach,” Coiro said. “The program was behind the eight ball when I got there and we were able to improve every year. We improved by getting better off the field. We did the best we could to include the whole community — not just the football community.”

Coiro mentored a pretty good player at Grimsley, 6-foot, 3-inch, 340-pound lineman D.J. Reader.

Reader was a team captain for Clemson during their national championship game appearance against Alabama Monday night.

“He’s a pretty special guy,” Coiro said, “he got it. He really understood what it was to be excellent in every facet of your life. He was great in the classroom, was strong in the community, was a three-sport athlete in high school.”

Coiro left Grimsley to return to his hometown of Toms River, N.J, where he was offensive coordinator for Toms River East for two seasons.

He was married in his home town then returned to Greensboro last year, where he coached at Northern Guilford High School. He coached wide receivers, outside linebackers and strong safetys for a Northern Guilford program that has won four state championships in the past six years. The 2015 squad advanced to the east regional finals.

The lure of being a head coach again led Coiro to apply for the academy’s vacancy.

“If you ask me why I want to be a head coach, it’s to change lives,” Coiro said. “And I think on Marco, in a small community, you can do that on a much larger scale. We’re going to be smart, fundamentally sound, in great shape physically, we’re going to be able to go.

“I want to create a community where everyone’s involved,” the coach said. “I want everyone to be a part of it. High school football gives a community something to rally around. We’re really looking forward to being a part of the community.”

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