Carr ready to return Colts to prominence

Greg Carr poses for a photo on the field at North Marion High School in Sparr, Fla. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Carr is the new head football coach for the Colts. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted July 2, 2021 | By Joel Bronson,

Greg Carr poses for a photo on the field at North Marion High School in Sparr on  June 30. Carr is the head football coach for the Colts. [Bruce Ackerman/OG]

Greg Carr, second-year head football coach at North Marion High School, is living the dream.

“When I was named head coach, my mom was in tears she was so happy,” Carr said. “It’s so refreshing being back home. I just want to make my community proud.”

Carr’s roots run deep within the North Marion community.

While a student-athlete at North Marion, Carr was a two-sport star. He shined as both a football and basketball player for the Colts.

Carr was a standout wide receiver for the Florida State Seminoles during his collegiate career, finishing fifth in the school’s history in both receptions (148) and yards (2,574), and finished second in touchdown catches with 29.

Carr found success as a pro, playing Canadian League Football for parts of four seasons. He also was prolific as an Arena Football League receiver, winning rookie of the year honors as a first-year receiver for the Orlando Predators.

Now that his playing days are over, Carr is thrilled to be “home.”

His first year as head coach proved challenging for Carr. The Colts lost their first four games, including losses to Vanguard and Dunnellon by double digits.

But three straight wins, including a first-round playoff win against Belleview, proved to Carr and his coaching staff that the process was working.

An eventual loss to Dunnellon in the second round, by only six points, provided a huge positive heading into the off-season.

“Our guys started paying attention to the details,” Carr said. “You can score a touchdown, which we will definitely celebrate, but the throw was to the wrong read. We praise with high energy, but we also need to be able to correct with the same energy.”

When asked about players receiving correction, Carr said, “I’ve never heard a player say, ‘Hey, stop praising me!’ So, our players need to have the same attitude when coaches are teaching and correcting.”

He said players started asking for help in areas they felt they needed improvement.

When players aren’t doing what is expected, whether in the classroom, on the field or in the community, Carr and his staff rely on older players to mentor the younger ones.

“This is someone’s senior year,” Carr said when referencing lack of effort. “We are truly all for one and one for all… We are a family; we do everything together.”

Keeping players together and being mindful of their surroundings is important to Carr, especially with the recent gun violence involving area student-athletes.

“Our decisions are very important. We stress to our kids, ‘Be mindful of where you are and the people you hang out with.’ Don’t take issues lightly,” he said.

Carr made sure to praise his assistant coaches for the culture being built at North Marion.

“I have a great group of assistants. I am thankful for everything they do.”

As a former college and professional player, colleges will inevitably come calling, but Carr said he’s happy right where he is.

“I plan to be at North Marion as long as they’ll have me,” Carr said. “This truly is home, a way of life.”

North Marion opens their season on August 20 at home against Gainesville High School.

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