EASTPOINT, Fla. (WMBB) – Franklin County High School named John Cooper as their next head football coach on Tuesday morning.

Cooper, 30, will be one of the youngest high school football head coaches in the state but has nearly a decade of assistant coaching experience.

A Crawfordville native, Cooper began his coaching career at Deane Bozeman High School under Lyle Messer before coming to coach as an assistant at Franklin County in 2017.

At Franklin County, he was on the staff of the Seahawks’ best and only winning season (6-4) in program history.

Cooper is most recently coming from Wakulla High School, where he served as the War Eagles offensive line coach under Barry Klees.

Franklin County has struggled in recent years, having only won two games in the past three seasons.

One of the team’s biggest difficulties has been keeping athletes from transferring out to play football at Port St. Joe and other nearby high schools.

Cooper said it will be a major goal of his to create an environment that makes players want to stay as Seahawks.

“There have been several division one players that have been born and raised in Franklin, and they’ve gone to other areas,” Cooper said. “We want to show them that home is where the heart is and we’re going to make this a destination place.

“I have a five-year plan of how I want the facilities to look like, and I think it’s going to be a great time to grow up to be a Franklin Seahawk,” Cooper said. I think the kids are going to have a weight room that they’re going to love to come to, a field house that’s going to feel like a second home, I think they’re just going to love being a Franklin Seahawk, and I think if you’re you’re coming up to high school now and will be in the near future for us, you’re going to want to stay.”

Cooper is replacing the former athletic director and head football coach, Dirk Strunk, who announced his retirement on December 1.

Cooper will not be taking the athletic director position, which is expected to be announced in the near future.