Hank Hollywood made his one year in Italy count.
He joined the Gladiators’ coaching staff in the spring of 2012 and spent one season as football coach and athletic director. In that time, he led the Gladiators to the 1A state semifinals, saw Kortnei Johnson win two state track championships and saw every team sport reach the posteason.
Hollywood will now take over the role of defensive coordinator at nearby Palmer.
“My house is just 4.5 miles from Palmer, so it’s about being closer to my family,” Hollywood said. “I know some people will see this and think it’s strange to be going from a head coach and athletic director to a coordinator, but I had to to what’s best for my family.”
Hollywood has two sons in grade school at Palmer and is excited about spending more time with them and seeing them grow up.
“I just know that sometimes, you’ve got to put family first,” Hollywood said. “I had to learn that the hard way as a kid, and I want to be there for my kids as they grow up.”
Hollywood will also be the head powerlifting coach and head track and field coach for Palmer to go along with his coordinator duties.
Italy will replace Hollywood with Charles Tindol, from Iola, as its new head coach and athletic director. Tindol was already going to be joining the team as the offensive coordinator, but was promoted to the dual position at the Italy school board meeting Tuesday.
At Iola, Tindol led the Bulldogs to a (5-5) record before losing in the first round of the playoffs to Axtell. The offense scored almost 25 points per game.
“They are getting a good coach in Charles,” Hollywood said. “I was already hiring him as my offensive coordinator, so I know he will be a good fit.”
Hollywood isn’t worried about fitting in in Palmer.
“I know (Palmer head coach Duke) Dalton well,” Hollywood said. “I’m glad to be able to move into a situation that I feel comfortable in.”
Hollywood left open the possibility of returning to a head coach position in the future as his kids grow up.
Last season, Palmer won six games and lost to Teague in the first round of the playoffs by just two points. Hollywood will try to improve a defense that only allowed 21 points per game a year ago.
He will get to face his old team pretty early on as Italy and Palmer are scheduled to face each other in the final scrimmage of the preseason Aug. 22.
“Palmer was originally supposed to play against Waco Reicher in the scrimmage, but I didn’t like the way they run their scrimmages,” Hollywood said. “So I talked with Dalton and Italy, and this game just fit better for both teams.”