MEET OUR COACHES
Head Varsity Football
Head Varsity Boys Basketball
George McCleod was born in South Florida and raised at the Northern tip of Broward County in Deerfield Beach. He graduated from Deerfield Beach High School in 1995 where he was a member of the boys’ basketball team, the orchestra, and the jazz band. In the fall of 1995 he was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at the University of North Florida (UNF) under the direction of Coaches Rich Zvosec and Sidney Green. In 1999 George McCleod received his Bachelors of Arts and Science majoring in Criminology with a minor in Sociology. After graduating from U.N.F., Coach McCleod began his coaching career as a men’s assistant basketball coach at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Following his collegiate coaching career, he served as an assistant girls’ basketball coach at The Bolles School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, Florida for a total of five years. In the 2006-2007 school year he accepted his first head coaching position at Englewood High School (EHS) in Jacksonville, Florida, where he also taught students with disabilities. In 2012 he led the team to its first regional playoff game in nearly 10 years. After 6 wonderful years at EHS, Coach McCleod accepted the girls’ basketball head coaching position at Mandarin High School where he led the team to a second straight district championship and regional playoff appearance.Coach McCleod is in his fourth year as Mandarin’s head boys’ basketball coach and is excited about the overall direction of the team, athletic department, and school. He is currently in his 17th year as a Duval County School Board employee. He earned A Master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration at Concordia University at Irvine in August 2016. He is supported in all of his endeavors by his lovely wife Shante McCleod and two beautiful children, Myiah and Dylan. Coach McCleod’s philosophy is simple. We must strive to be our B.E.S.T (Being Exceptionally Special Today) in all that we do so that we may positively influence others to do the same.
Coach Natalia Gonzalez enters her 17th year as the Head Softball Coach at Mandarin High School. Throughout her years at Mandarin she has compiled a record of 328-106, while guiding the Mustangs to 11 District Championships, 9 Gateway Conference Championships and 2 State Final Four appearances. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida where she played Centerfield for the Lady Ospreys. She is currently a Physical Education teacher at Mandarin High.
Head Coach of the Bowling team, JV Girl’s Soccer, and Asst. Varsity Lacrosse
My name is Ashley Nicks and I have had the pleasure coaching at Mandarin for the last 4 years. I am the Head Coach of the Bowling team, JV Girl’s Soccer, and Asst. Varsity Lacrosse. Nothing has made me happier than earning the title of Coach. I am a sports enthusiast. I currently play rugby for the Jacksonville Sinners and I am the Baseball Operations Manager and Social Media Coordinator for the Jacksonville Indians semi-professional baseball team. Working with my student athletes is one of the greatest experience I have had. My girls teach me as much as I teach them. I am very blessed that I am coach for one of the most competitive schools in Duval County. Go Mustangs!
Head Girls Cross Country
Coach Sidney Dent is in her 5th season as the Head Girls Cross Country coach. She is in her 10th year as a teacher and coach at Mandarin High School. After her team placed in the top ten teams at the state level in 2015, she received the Mike Houser XC Coach of the Year for the Gateway Conference. In her personal world, Coach Dent enjoys running all distances and ran the Boston Marathon in 2016. She is married to Coach Eric Dent (soccer coach and teacher at Lee High School). They have one son together.
Head Boys Cross Country & Head Track and Field
Head B/G Swimming
Mike grew up in Jacksonville and swam competitively during his high school years at Wolfson and Bolles. He earned a scholarship to swim at Western Kentucky University, where he ended his swimming career ranked in their All Time Top 10 for the 50, 100 and 200 free. After college, Mike moved to Louisville, KY, where he married the love of his life, Angie. Eventually, he moved his family back home to Jacksonville and went to work at Florida Blue, where he is still employed today. In 2009, Mike was hired as an assistant coach with a local club team, the Episcopal Amberjax and in 2012, he took over the head coaching position at Mandarin High School. He has a deep love of the sport and a passion for helping student athletes succeed in the classroom, in the pool and in life. He has coached National Qualifiers and has several swimmers competing at the collegiate level. Mike and Angie have 4 children; 2 currently swim in college and the remaining 2 swim for Mandarin High as well as the Mandarin Aquatic Club.
Coach Evans has been coaching and mentoring student-athletes for the past 22 years. He has coached all levels of football and wrestling during that time. He has been the head wrestling coach, and an assistant football coach at Mandarin for the past 4 years. As a coach he strives to help student-athletes improve their athletic skills, but, more importantly, to be help them become better members of the community and young adults.
Head Girls Weightlifting
Coach Kelly Townsend enters her 3rd year as the Head Girls Weightlifting Coach at Mandarin High School. In her 2 years as the head coach, she has led the Mustangs to win 2 consecutive Gateway Conference Championships, a District Championship, and has made appearances at the State Championship Meet with one athlete placing 5th in the state 2 years in a row. Coach Townsend graduated with a degree in Sport Administration from Florida State University where she played softball for the Seminoles. She currently teaches Physical Education at Mandarin where she is also the assistant varsity softball coach.
Head Girls Soccer
Coach Tony Cuthbertson is entering his 2nd season as the Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach at Mandarin High School. In his first year, he lead the Mustangs to a 7-11-2 record and a regional quarterfinal birth. Tony is a graduate of the University of North Florida where he received his Bachelors of Science in Sport Management. Tony currently serves as the Director of Coaching at Florida Elite Soccer Academy Oakleaf and holds his USSF D and NSCAA National Coaching Licenses.
Head Boys Soccer
Head Flag Football
Head Girls Lacrosse
Dr. Meghan Braun, Physical Therapist, is coming into her 5th season with Mandarin girls Lacrosse. Prior to coaching at Mandarin, Coach Braun has coached at many different levels from elementary to college, as well as internationally. She has began programs including The Hockaday (Dallas) middle/elementary programs, St. Augustine HS (FL), and The Bolles school (FL). She played NCAA lacrosse at The University of Dallas, where she accrued many on/off field accolades, including scoring the first goal in Texas Lacrosse History in an NCAA game. She also played this summer in the Prague Cup for a Women’s international team. She currently continues her coaching and playing love with The Lax Box, as well as recently coaching the North Florida Regional HS team at the High School national tournament in Long Island. The Mandarin Girl’s Lacrosse program has had several graduates recruited to play at the collegiate level under Coach Braun, and is continuing to become an important program for the growth of girl’s lacrosse here in North Florida.
Head Boys Lacrosse
Henry Montgomery was born and raised in Gainesville, Fl. He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1989. After high school, he joined the US Navy where he served our country for 5 years during Desert Storm, onboard submarines. In 2009, he began coaching at his alma mater as the JV football head coach. During his time at Gainesville High School, he coached football, baseball and lacrosse. In 2015, he was named, boys lacrosse head coach. As the head coach, GHS appeared in back to back district playoffs, had back to back winning season, and the program grew from 15 to 45 players. He was honorable mention as the 2015 Gainesville Sun coach of the year and US Lacrosse North Florida Chapter Man of the Year. He is a level 3 US Lacrosse certified coach, a board member of the US Lacrosse North Florida Chapter, a US Lacrosse certified coaches education program trainer. As his transition from Gainesville to Jacksonville, Coach Montgomery is excited to be a Mustang and ready to begin his new chapter at Mandarin High School.
Varsity Cheerleading Coach
Lindsey Eldridge is the Varsity Cheerleading Coach. This is her third year with the Cheerleading program. Coach Eldridge is a Mandarin High School Alumni and has returned to teach Science as a Biology teacher. She has 10 years experience with Competitive Cheerleading and was a Varsity Cheerleader all four years at Mandarin. She has a huge passion for the Mustangs athletics program and can not wait to continue guiding Mandarin Cheerleading to success in their sideline and competitive teams.
Head Boys Golf
Mandarin High Boys Golf Coach 3 seasons
2014 and 2015 Gateway Conference Champions
2014 and 2015 District Champions
2014 Regional Runner-up
2014 Top 12 team finish in State Championships 3A
2016 State Champion Individual Medalist
(2) Baseball Babe Ruth State Champions 2006 and 2008
3rd place finish in the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional 2008
Asst. Varsity Baseball Briggs High School 1987
Girls Softball State Champions 2013
1994 Graduate of The Ohio State University
Agronomy Turf Management/ Business
Low Am. Gate Petroleum Open 2005
Head Varsity Baseball & Head Girls Golf
Girls Golf head Coach at Terry Parker High School from 2011- 2015; Regional team appearance in 2015; Mike Houser award recipient 2014
Steve Stewart played college baseball locally for FCCJ and UNF, then went on to play two years of professional baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers making it to class A ball.
Head coach at Terry Parker High School from 2006-2010, earning FACA class 5A District I Coach of the Year honors in 2008.
Assistant baseball coach at Englewood, Eagle’s View, Bolles, and Providence
Currently Head baseball coach at Mandarin High since 2016, earning FACA Coach of the Year honors for class 9A District I in 2016 & 2018. District Champions in 2018
Married to Nicole with two children, Austin and Emma.
Head Girls Basketball
Anthony Flynn, a native of Jacksonville, Florida graduated from Jean Ribault High School. He continued his education at Florida A & M University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education. During his tenure with Duval County Public Schools, he taught Physical Education for 36 years (1980-2016) at various schools from middle to high school. Coach Flynn has also coached several sporting events such as basketball, football, track, and baseball to name a few. However, his love for football and basketball landed him in opportunities to coach both boys and girls gaining several accolades to his portfolio such Conference Champs to State and National Championship.
- 6 State Championships – Ribault High School
- Boys Assistant Coach 1990, 1994, 1995
- Girls Assistant Coach 2013, 2015, 2016
- Girls National Champion 2016 as Assistant Coach – Ribault High School
- Final Four – Boys Head Coach 2007 – Ribault High School
- Gateway Conference Champs – Boys Head Coach 2010 – Ribault High School
- Gateway Conference Champs – Boys Head Coach 2005 2006 First Coast High School
- 6 State Championships – Ribault High School
Coach Flynn believes in empowering all students to be the best person possible. He instills in his players that it takes heart, drive, academics and hard work to be the best. His motto is “The Best Is Yet To Come!”
Head Girls Tennis
Head Boys Tennis
Coach Thad Boggs is entering his twenty third year as the Boys Tennis Coach. He has been a Physics/Chemistry Teacher at Mandarin High School since 1994. Coach Boggs graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile and Polymer Chemistry and from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1985 with a Master of Science degree is Systems Technology. While the Boys Tennis Coach, his teams have amassed a record of 263 – 96, two Gateway Conference Championships and one District Championship. He has been a multiple year winner of the Mike Houser Award as the Gateway Conference Coach of the Year. He was the 2016 FACA Assistant Coach of the Year. He also is entering his 23rd year as an Assistant Football and was a Boys Basketball Assistant Coach for 20 years. He has been married to the former Mary Catherine Martin since June 1974 and they have one daughter, Angela Nadeau who resides with her husband and grandson in Maryland.
Head Volleyball Coach
Don Watson is a 20 year Navy Veteran, retired Chief Petty Officer and currently serves JJVA as a Head Coach in National program with the 13N1 Team. In addition to coaching at JJVA Coach Don was Head Coach at Nease High School from 2016-2018 and Seacoast Christian Academy from 2012-2014. In the six years at both schools compiled a record of 106-49, was a district finalist 5 of 6 years, won 2 district titles, 2 conference titles and was named 2017 St. Johns Region Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Prior to joining JJVA Don Watson started JAX Premier Volleyball Club from humble beginnings at the YMCA of Florida’s first Coast recreation league. He led two U14 teams to eight tournaments entered resulting in seven gold medals, seven silver medals and 1 bronze for each of the two teams. As volunteer for the Williams YMCA in Mandarin he lead the Super Sports Volleyball program from 2010 to 2015 he facilitated to growth of the program and skills development for over 225 young ladies and men.
Don’s qualifications include NFHS Accredited Interscholastic Coach, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Double Goal Coach, AAU Certified Volleyball Coach, USA Volleyball Impact Coach, and United States Navy Master Training Specialist
Project 17 Athletic Trainer
Kaitlyn Motyka is Mandarin’s new full time Athletic Trainer from Project 17. She graduated with her BS in Athletic Training from UNF, and is currently seeking her Masters in Kinesiology at JU. Kaitlyn stated “I will strive to support, protect, and educate every student athlete so that they may reach their goals here at Mandarin High School. Go Mustangs!!”
MHS ATHLETIC TEAMS
Boys X Country
Girls Cross Country
PAST & FUTURE EVENTS
Mustang 5K Photos
Dodgeball “MHS Athletics Tacky Sweater Dodgeball Tournament” Picture Gallery
FORMS & RESOURCES
Mandarin High School