Manatee's new coach helping Canes weather the storm

By Katherine Smith, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Everything that's old is new again at Manatee.

Old traditions, old goals, so what’s new?

The head coach. Yusuf Shakir takes over the storied Hurricanes football program.

 “I came down and just fell in love with it,” Shakir said.

What’s not to love? Shakir inherited a young team, but a hungry one.

Players putting in the hours in the weight room and on the practice field to return the Canes back to prominence. Leading the way is Shakir who comes armed with an impressive resume. 

He guided Lincoln to a state title over Armwood in 2010 and a runner-up finish to St. Thomas Aquinas in 2012. He has previous Bay area coaching experience at Gibbs where he led the Gladiators to the postseason after a three-year absence.

Shakir replaces John Booth who abruptly resigned this spring to take a job in the financial industry. That left Shakir only a couple of months to get acclimated.

“It was different at first, but now it’s really coming together," senior safety Josh Betts said. "He’s got a great sense of discipline and leadership for the team and he’s teaching us right.”

Without ever coaching a game at Manatee, Shakir's already made history. He broke the Hurricanes color barrier as the first African-American head coach. He accomplished that feat at Lincoln also.

“This is not really unchartered territory for me, but it’s just great for me," he said. "It’s exciting. “

More than 130 coaches applied for the Manatee job and the Hurricanes think they got the right guy.