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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2022 3 months ago

Granato steps down as West Orange High's head football coach

Mike Granato has accepted the position of defensive coordinator for Coffee High School in Douglas, Georgia. 
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Mike Granato, head coach of the West Orange High School football team, has resigned from his position with the Warriors. He has accepted the position of defensive coordinator for Coffee High School in Douglas, Georgia. 

“It has been an absolute honor to do what we have done the past two years,” Granato wrote on Facebook. “I am forever grateful for the administration, parents, boosters and, of course, the players. It’s been an awesome ride. None of it would be possible without the support of my family and friends."

"Thank you Matt Turner; you're a great principal, and it's been an awesome place to work," he wrote. "Geno Thompson: You're the man for the job. Winter Garden, take it from me: He's the right man for the job. Get behind him! Love you, West Orange. Valhalla."

During his time at West Orange, he led his team to be district champions twice, and the Warriors also were regional finalists. Granato leaves with a record of 18-6. The football team’s Class of 2022 has 11 college signees so far. 

As a native of the Windermere and Winter Garden area, Granato said he had mixed emotions during a phone interview earlier today as he drove to the local Wawa on Colonial Drive. That's where he goes four times a week to gets his regular chicken and cheese quesadilla and Dr Pepper. 

"I'm looking around seeing what an amazing place it has become," he said. "I've been here my whole life. ... It's surreal, I'm going to miss it." 

Both, Granato's and his wife, Katie's parents live in the Dr. Phillips and Apopka areas. 

"We've still got plenty of friends and family we've made in this life we call coaching," he said. "So I won't be far." 

Granato said leaving the West Orange students is incredibly difficult. 

"They'll always be my kids," he said. "It was an honor to be their coach." 

Granato's last official day at West Orange will be April 8. He is scheduled to start April 11 at Coffee High School.

Full story coming soon.

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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