Armwood's Callahan steps down

By Katherine Smith and Rishi Barran, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017, 4:44 PM EDT

Armwood football coach Sean Callahan has resigned.

Callahan told Spectrum Sports he broke the news to his players after their Spring Jamboree Thursday night.

The Connecticut native says he's stepping down due to health concerns.

Callahan was scheduled to leave his post as the Hawks head coach at the end of the season through the Deferred Retirement Option Program, but said he had to put his health first.

"This is one of the hardest things I've had to do," Callahan told Spectrum Sports.

Callahan put Armwood on the state map with back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004, the first titles won by a Hillsborough County public school team since 1969.

Armwood won it's third state title in 2011, but the Hawks had to vacate the championship after an FHSAA investigation discovered five players have falsified their residency information.

Callahan won 258 games on the field (232 officially after the 26 forfeits after the FHSAA investigation) in 27 years as the Hawks head coach.

He turned the program into a perennial playoff and state powerhouse.

“It’s going to be a difficult transition without him for the whole school district, I think.” Hillsborough High School head coach Earl Garcia said.  “He made a state presence for Armwood and a national presence for himself.  So he brought a lot of good things to Hillsborough County.”

Callahan played one year of college football at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and first coached in the area at Boca Ciega in 1983.

He took over at Armwood in 1990 and withstood some early growing pains to make the Hawks a power.

In addition to the state titles, Armwood had a number of state runner-up seasons, including a recent run that included a 34 game regular season winning streak that spanned from 2012 into 2016.

Callahan also helped put the Bay Area on the radar of the top college coaches.

“When you have that presence in our school district, it elevates the whole area, I believe, to play better,” Garcia said.

Callahan had planned to coach and teach one more year before retiring.

He said he will continue to teach at Armwood for the upcoming school year.

Callahan told us last year that he hoped Armwood offensive coordinator Evan Davis, an Armwood alum, would eventually take over as head coach when he retired.

“I know the cupboard is pretty well stocked over there,” Garcia said.  “But it’s still going to be a heck of a transition.  Whoever comes over, I think he needs to try and be his own man and not try to do what Sean did.”

Tune into Your Sports tonight for more on this developing story.