Denmark to hire North Carolina coach with 3 state titles

Two-year-old Denmark in Forsyth County is hiring a North Carolina football coach with three state titles to replace Terry Crowder.

Mike Palmieri of Mallard Creek in Charlotte has compiled a 139-34-1 record in 13 seasons at the program that he started in 2007. He was 136-15-1 over his last 11 seasons and won North Carolina Class 4A championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Class 4A is the highest in North Carolina.

Four of Palmieri’s players have gone on to the NFL. One is Arizona Cardinals tackle D.J. Humphries, a first-round pick out of Florida. Another is Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels.

“I’ve been here for 13 years and it’s a great opportunity for me and my family to move and I felt, in my heart, that it was time to go,’’ Palmieri told the Charlotte Observer.

Palmieri will replace Crowder, who retired from public schools and became head coach at King’s Ridge Christian.

Denmark has finished 5-5 and 7-3, marking one of the best two-year runs this century for a new program. The Danes lost to Sandy Creek in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs last season. Denmark will play in AAAAAAA in 2020. Returning will be quarterback Aaron McLaughlin, who is committed to Auburn.

Two other Forsyth County schools recently hired head coaches.

West Forsyth has hired Etowah head coach Dave Svehla, who has led the Eagles to the playoffs each of the past seven seasons. Svehla’s record at Etowah is 49-41. Svehla is replacing Shawn Cahill, whose teams were 17-16 in three seasons. 

Lambert’s choice is Tommy Waton, the run game coordinator and offensive line coach at Lowndes. Watson, a head coach at alma mater Upson-Lee from 2008 through 2013, has been at Lowndes since 2015. He also was Valdosta’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2014.

Lambert was 28-36 in six seasons under Louis Daniel. The Longhorns won a region title under Daniel in 2016 but were 0-10 last season.

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