PSJ’s Kurnitsky heading to Orange Park

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM.

Previous offers had been extended, but this time, Derek Kurnitsky said, he could not pass turn away.

Kurnitsky, for the past 10 years the boys’ basketball coach at Port St. Joe High School, announced Friday that he was accepting the same position at Orange Park High School in the Jacksonville area.

Kurnitsky will be moving up in school classification – from Class 1A to Class 6A – but in terms of class of community, he said that would be difficult to replicate.

“I’ve learned how to coach here,” Kurnitsky said. “I’ve been with awesome people and around an awesome place. It was a hard decision and it is very bittersweet. But I coach from my gut and my gut told me you don’t pass up a great opportunity like this.”

Port St. Joe represented the first extensive head coaching stint of Kurnitsky’s career.

“I could not have landed in a better place (than Port St. Joe),” he said. “I came here a bachelor and I met my lovely wife, Kim, and had children. Life has been good to me in Port St. Joe.

“And I like to think I made a difference in the town, the community and the kids.”

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