by Staff Writer

Dunedin, FL    The Anclote Pirates wasted no time this off-season and made a blockbuster move by naming Ernest P. Givins Jr. as the new head coach of the Pirates.  

     Coach Givins has a tremendously impressive resume, which includes being a 10-year veteran wide receiver in the National Football League, including multiple NFL Pro Bowl appearances. Coach Givins was selected in the second round of the 1986 NFL draft played nine seasons with the Houston Oilers and one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  He was widely known for his touchdown celebration called the "Electric Slide".  Following his professional playing career, his passion for football led him to coaching both at the high school and semi-professional levels.  He is a widely respected mentor and football coach.

See ESPN's Ernest Givins Top 5 Hits

     Coach Givins brings with him his experienced coaching staff, a staff which has been together for a long time and have a great personal and professional relationship.  The new Pirates coaching staff includes:

Ernest Givins
Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Thad Startling
Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach
Rick James
Special Teams/Secondary Coach
Antoine Hughes
Offensive/Defensive Line Coach
Shirley Startling
Players Information Coach
Pam Brown
Sideline Coach
James Felton
Head of Security

     The Pirates made landing Coach Givins their top priority following the release of former head coach Scott Mirto last month. The goal was to dramitcally improve the team's leadership, which was significantly lacking under Mirto.

     "Coach Givins is a leader of men. He will be the leader for our players. Coach Givins brings all the coaching tangibles that are necessary to establish a championship culture", Pirates Vice President Steve Korossy said. "A team reflects the character of their head coach. The Pirates will reflect Coach Givins' energy, passion, and greatness." 

     The Pirates were formed by Andy Villamarzo in 2009. In 2016, the Pirates joined the highly respected Florida Football Alliance (FFA). Also in 2016, the Pirates partnered with Dunedin High School and Dunedin Memorial Stadium on the campus of Dunedin High School became the home of the Pirates.
In their first season in the FFA, the Pirates qualified for the playoffs, losing in the first round to the Tampa Bay Patriots. The Pirates fell short of expectations for the 2017, finishing the season with a record of three wins and eight losses.

     "We are committed to success and growing as an organization, both on and off the field. Coach Givins has a great reputation and his former players speak very highly of him", Pirates President Andy Villamarzo said. "Coach Givins and his staff have high expectations of their players and their accomplishments with other football programs speak for themselves. Their team oriented coaching really motivates players and it's exactly the vision we have for the Pirates. We can't wait for football to get started again."

     Coach Givins and his staff addressed players at an impactful meeting on May 24th, which was held in the home locker room at Dunedin Memorial Stadium. 

     "With Coach Givins becoming our coach, we instantly went from a team with below average coaching, to a team with a championship mentality... I felt goosebumps when he spoke ", Pirates Defensive Lineman Roosevelt Austin said. "Our players are ready to run through a wall for him and he will attract high caliber players to the Pirates".

     Coach Givins will hold a series of mini-camps in the fall, with team tryouts being slated for October 2017. Practices will begin in November 2017. The FFA regular season will begin in January 2018. The Pirates have several volunteer administrative positions they are looking to fill. Contact Pirates President Andy Villamarzo at if you interested in joining the Pirates as either a player or administrator.

     The voyage towards greatness can be seen on the horizon, Coach Givins and his staff are exactly what the Pirates need to right the ship.