Mark Guandolo is staying put at Cypress Bay.
The 54-year old football coach, who began his coaching career in South Florida in the early 1980s and led three different programs --Hollywood Chaminade, Miami Southridge and most recently Cypress Bay -- to a state finals appearance, turned down an offer to coach at Orlando Edgewater High Tuesday after deliberating over the decision for a few days.
Guandolo interviewed at Edgewater on Friday.
"Since Friday it's pretty much been a whirlwind," said Guandolo, who has 240 wins, 71 losses and two state titles.
"I've gotten like a 1,000 phone calls. It wasn't easy to say no. But I've been here 30 years, all my coaches and ex-players live down here. I'm a beach guy. This is my home."
Edgewater athletic director Valerie Miyares, who coached softball and worked as an assistant athletic director at Chaminade-Madonna under Guandolo before he left for Cypress Bay, had pushed for Guandolo to take over the Eagles' program.
Guandolo said he had "received plenty of other offers before to take over other programs, but this was the closest I've ever come to leaving."
"The administration at Cypress Bay has always been nothing but very supportive," Guandolo continued. "I've got a great staff and a great group of kids who wanted to see me back. There's a lot of plusses here and I'm excited about continuing to build the program."
Cypress Bay reached the Class 8A state championship game last month and lost a controversial heartbreaker to Apopka 53-50. The Lightning had more than 30 seniors on the roster.
"In the end, South Florida is just where my roots are," Guandolo said. "It's hard to pull them from the ground."