PAHOKEE — Pahokee High fired football’s head coach Emmanuel Hendrix on Tuesday and will begin a search for a new leader.
The move comes after Florida High School sanctioned Hendrix on Feb. 22 with a six-week suspension from the start of the spring 2023 football season and a $5,000 loss of his salary. Pahokee’s high administration itself reported allegations of “inappropriate contact” regarding a transfer student-athlete.
Hendrix said he was “devastated” by the dismissal and was given an opportunity by the school administration to announce his resignation.
The Post has reached out to the school and the Palm Beach County School District for comment.
In a previous interview with The Post, Hendrix denied the allegations of “inappropriate contact” and acknowledged that his “social media activities may have left things open to interpretation”.
When the Post asked Pahokee principal Dwayne Dennard and athletic director Lashonda Baldwin for a statement on the suspension, the school didn’t respond, instead telling Hendrix that a statement would be made “later.”
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Although Hendrix’s stint as head coach with the Blue Devils was met with some controversy, there was on-field success.
Pahokee went 18-5 under Hendrix. The Blue Devils missed reaching the state semifinals against Hawthorne in 2022 by a point, an improvement from the 51-12 final loss in the region the previous season.
In 23 games, Hendrix’s defense kept opponents averaging 15 points and earned the first-ever muck bowl shutout against Glades Central in 2021.
Pahokee equally thrived in the classroom with Hendrix at the helm.
According to Hendrix, the team achieved a 100% graduation rate and helped students like linebacker Bijay Boldin make history as the program’s first athlete to have the option to attend an Ivy League school before eventually signing with Georgetown University.
Hendrix, who initially served as interim head coach in 2021, was officially hired months later to continue the work of DJ Boldin, brother of NFL Hall of Famer inductee Anquan Boldin, who moved through the collegiate ranks to coach Lake Erie.
In a June 2021 interview discussing his promotion, Hendrix said he “never wanted to be head coach anywhere but the Glades.”
“If I wanted to be a head coach, I wanted to be Pahokee’s boss. That’s the only high school head coaching job I ever thought I’d have to take, especially as I got older. There’s something you can’t refuse.”
Including Pahokee, eight Palm Beach County schools have changed head coaches so far this offseason.
Emilee Smarr is a high school sports reporter for the Palm Beach Post. She can be reached via email at [email protected].