Tom Shaneyfelt established a winning tradition as Clearwater’s girls basketball coach, guiding the program to eight final four appearances and four state championship games.
But in recent years he had a growing desire to see how his success would translate to boys basketball.
On Tuesday, he was officially given the opportunity.
Clearwater announced Shaneyfelt will coach the boys program.
“This has been on my bucket list for some time to coach boys basketball,” Shaneyfelt said. “I felt like it would happen once I retired and would have to work at a private school or something. When this came available, I knew I had to go for it.”
The prestige of the Tornadoes’ boys program was enough to persuade Shaneyfelt to end his 20-year tenure with a Clearwater girls basketball program he took to new heights.
The Tornadoes’ vacancy, created when Allen Carden stepped down last month after four seasons, drew 75 applicants who were looking to accept the challenge of trying to appease a demanding fan base.
Carden guided Clearwater to a state final appearance his first season in 2010 but failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons.
Most of the candidates were out-of-state. None of the current head basketball coaches in Pinellas County applied for the position.
Clearwater administrators narrowed the list to 12 finalists who were interviewed last week.
But the Tornadoes did not have to look far for their coach.
Shaneyfelt became an attractive option, not only for his resume, but because he was already in the building. Clearwater wanted a coach on campus and Shaneyfelt is a teacher at the school.
“Tom was a real strong candidate throughout the whole process,” Clearwater athletic director Kathy Biddle said. “He did well in his interview, he’s been a successful coach here and he has a lot of knowledge of the school and the program.”
Shaneyfelt coached the girls at Osceola for seven years (1986-92) before coming to Clearwater in 1993. He quickly turned the program into one of the best in the state. His 650 wins combined at both schools ranks in the top 20 in the state among boys or girls coaches. He already is inducted into Clearwater’s athletic hall of fame.
For the past few seasons, he also has coached his son, Christian, 11, in youth leagues. That started Shaneyfelt’s gravitation toward boys basketball.
“Life doesn’t always plan things out so perfectly,” Shaneyfelt said. “I thought this was my best shot to coach a program that’s so rich in talent, and so steeped in tradition. It was a tough thing to do, to leave the girls. But this was something I’ve always wanted to try.”
Shaneyfelt met with some of the players Tuesday. He said he will have a meeting with the community June 11 in the school’s auditorium to talk about what his plans are for the future of Clearwater basketball.
The hiring of Shaneyfelt means Clearwater now has to search for a girls basketball coach. Biddle said the girls position will be posted after Wednesday (due to graduation).
Bob Putnam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobbyHomeTeam.
Tom Shaneyfelt's name has become synonymous with girls basketball. He has led Clearwater’s program to eight state final four appearances, and four runnerup finishes. His 650 wins rank in the top 20 in the state among boys or girls coaches.
Now Shaneyfelt wants to give boys basketball a shot at the school he turned into a girls’ powerhouse.
Clearwater released the names of candidates for the boys basketball position Tuesday. Shaneyfelt was among 75 applicants, who were mostly out-of-state. The job opened up two weeks ago when Allen Carden stepped down after four seasons.
"The desire to make that move was growing with me more and more," Shaneyfelt said. "I thought this would be a good time and the best opportunity I would have to do it. So I dusted off the 30-year-old resume and I'll put my interviewing skills to work and see what happens."
Clearwater principal Keith Mastorides said a committee will start interviewing candidates later this week and a coach could be named as early as next week.
Two current boys basketball coaches in the area, Wiregrass Ranch's Jeremy Calzone and Plant City's Wardell Chambers, both applied, as did former Palm Harbor University coach Mike Walters and former Pasco coach Poncho Broner.
Other noteworthy candidates were Clayton State coach Gordon Gibbons, who previously coached the Tampa Bay Thunderdawgs (2000-01) and Florida Southern (1990-2000), and former Lake Howell standout Joey Rodriguez, who played four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth.
The list had candidtates from 27 states and from as far away as England, where Steve Mergelsberg coached the University of Manchester. What the list did not have were a lot of local applicants. None of the current head coaches in Pinellas County applied for the position.
Senior Night was a big success. We beat Northeast 53-38, and celebrated our Seniors, Derek Calloway, Ryan Ramirez, Shaeffer Sande, Devijion Smith, and Anthony White.
Congratulations to "THE KING" Coach Pete Olson, who was inducted into the Clearwater High School Hall of Fame on 1/11/2013.
"THE KING" and his Varsity team.
"THE KING" receives his plaque from Coach Carden
The Tornadoes traveled down to Sarasota on Saturday December 1st to the Impact Basketball Academy for a Shootout against the Elevation Academy. We had a hard fought game, but played an excellent game of defense and came out the victor with a score of 64-52. We are now 5-0. We have our 1st home game on Tuesday December 4th against Pinellas Park.
Clearwater Tornadoes Win both games in Preseason ShootOut
11/13/12- Clearwater vs. Northside Christian- W- 60-54
11/17/12- Clearwater vs. Indian rocks Christian-W- 60-39
By BHSN Staff Report,
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012PALM HARBOR --
Clearwater was led by Rasim Avmet with 13 points, Ryan Ramirez with 11, and Anthony White with 10 in the win.
June 10-12th we went to Tallahassee to participate in the
Leonard Hamilton Team Camp.
June 17-19th we went to Gainseville to participate in the
Billy Donovan Team camp
June 24-26 we went to Port Charlotte to compete in the
USSSA HS State Championships- WE CAME IN SECOND PLACE
July 8-10th we went to St. Pete to participate in the
Eckerd College Team Camp
July 15-17th we went to Port Charlotte to compete in the
5 star NIT tournament- WE TOOK 1ST PLACE
Christian Laettner works out with the Torpedoes!!!
On September 4th, NBA star Christian Laettner came & worked out with the Torpedoes. The former Duke player, and Gold Medal Winner from the DREAM TEAM shared some of his moves with our team. He worked one on one with each player and played 5 on 5 with them. He insipred them with stories of his career, and worked on their individual techniques. What a great opportunity to learn from one of the best.