After a nearly two-month long search, Gibbs has found a new head football coach.
Rick Kravitz will be named the Gladiators new head coach, a source close to the hiring confirmed to Bright House Sports Network Thursday afternoon. Gibbs principal Stephanie Adkinson confirmed the hire to BHSN in an email Thursday afternoon.
"Coach Kravitz started his career in Pinellas County and he is anxious to end it here," Adkinson said.
Kravitz was recently on the staff at Youngstown State from 2010 to 2012, but is well known in the Bay area for his time at USF. He was hired as the Bulls first-ever defensive coordinator in 1995, and spent 10 seasons on the sidelines. Kravtiz was part of the program's rapid growth as it jumped from an independent to Conference USA in 2003, then to the Big East in 2005.
Under Kravtz's watch, USF's defensive unit ranked 17th in the nation in 2002, 2003 and 2005, including seventh against the rush in 2002, allowing just 87.2 yards per game. The Bulls also led the country in turnover margin, racking up 22 interceptions and 14 fumbles. In their inaugural season in the Big East, Kravtiz's crew ranked in the top 15 in scoring defense, turnovers gained and sacks.
The St. Petersburg native also spent time at Western Michigan and N.C. State following his departure from USF.
The 58-year old is no stranger to the high school ranks. He broke into the business as a defensive coordinator at Lakewood in 1979, and then moved over to Countryside, where he coached for four seasons as an assistant. Kravtiz is a graduate of Dixie Hollins and, while there, was a teammate of former Bulls head coach Jim Leavitt.
"Coach Kravitz is married and has a daughter who also works in our school district," Adkinson said in the email. "He has a son-in-law who played for the Tampa Bay Rays. Coach Kravitz has a lot of community ties here and is excited to be a part of our Gladiator Family at Gibbs High School."
Gibbs and Turner chose Kravitz over a number of other candidates, including Largo defensive coordinator Jeremy Frioud and Gladiators defensive coordinator Robert Tirado, among others.
Kravitz will take over for Antonio Knox, who resigned in January for personal reasons.
The school will introduce Kravitz on Monday at a press conference, beginning at 12 p.m.
Ryan Bass is a reporter for Bright House Sports Network. Follow him on twitter, @Ry_Bass.