New Coach, New Chapter: Menendez Football Hires Anthony Rivers to the Team

Menendez High School in St. Johns County has announced the hiring of Anthony Rivers as their new head football coach. Rivers will take over a program that has gone through several coaching changes in recent years.

On Friday, the athletic department of Menendez Football Hires Anthony Rivers to the Team as the new head football coach for the Falcons. Rivers was previously the defensive coordinator at Ponte Vedra, and his hiring aims to bring stability to the school’s coaching carousel, which has been tumultuous in recent months.

Rivers replaces Ben White, who left the position abruptly on March 7, without coaching a single game. White had been with the school for less than two months and was the former defensive coordinator at Oakleaf. The school attributed White’s departure to personal reasons.

Anthony Rivers, who is about to turn 29 in two weeks, will be taking on his first head coaching role. He is now the youngest active public school head football coach in St. Johns County. Rivers previously served as the defensive coordinator for Ponte Vedra, where he was instrumental in the team’s 5-5 season in 2022. He has been a part of the Ponte Vedra staff since 2019.

Rivers, a Chester, VA native, played football at Bluefield College. He went on to play professional football for the Cologne Crocodiles in Germany after college.

The Road for Menendez Coaches

Menendez football hires Anthony Rivers to the team, a school that has seen a revolving door of coaches in recent years.

The last coach to stay at Menendez for more than two seasons was Patrick Turner, who coached from 2013-17 before transitioning to the role of athletic director and later moving to Palatka football.

After Turner, Kyle Skipper led Menendez to playoff berths in 2018 and 2019 before leaving for a position in Georgia. Former national champion coach Kenny Sanchez came in from Nevada for the start of the 2020 season but was fired after just two games due to a conflict with Turner. Mark Galella served as interim coach for the rest of the season. Matt Potak coached Menendez for two seasons, finishing with a 10-10 record before stepping down in December.

Despite the constant change in coaching staff, Menendez has maintained consistent results, winning at least five games every season since 2013.

Anthony Rivers Prepares for Spring Football with Menendez

Anthony Rivers will have less than a month to adjust to his new role before Florida High School Athletic Association spring practice begins. Non-contact drills start on May 1st, and the first day of contact is May 6th.

Menendez’s spring game is scheduled for May 22nd at 7 p.m. against Westside from Jacksonville.

For the second year in a row, Menendez will be part of the FHSAA District 4-3S in the Metro-Suburban system. The district includes Clay, Gainesville, Matanzas, and St. Augustine, the reigning district champion.

With the hiring of Rivers, the last head coaching vacancy in St. Johns County football has been filled. Darrell Sutherland and Mike Kolakowski retired over the winter from Bartram Trail and Tocoi Creek, respectively. Cory Johns took over at Bartram Trail, and Zach Harbison moved from Englewood to lead the Toros.

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