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William Albert "Bill" Castle

Inducted 2002

The Lakeland High School Dreadnaughts football team has never had a losing season in the 26-year reign of Bill Castle. He has had five successive undefeated regular seasons, six districts championships and two state championships. Castle, 56, currently holds the state record for 60 consecutive regular season wins.

Castle began his coaching career as an assistant football coach at Columbia High School in Lake City. He then moved to Lakeland High School where he accepted the position of defensive back coach. Shortly thereafter, Castle took over the position of head coach and has remained in the position since 1976.

Due to his contributions in the Lakeland community, the city field at Bryant Stadium has been named “Bill Castle Field.” Because of Castle’s contributions as a coach, he has been chosen Coach of the Year seven times by the Lakeland Ledger and five times by the Tampa Tribune. He was named the Class 5A Coach of the Year four times and Florida Coach of the Year for all classifications in 1998.

Castle’s program is not about winning; it is about character. His players are taught discipline, teamwork and togetherness. He encourages his players to be role models to elementary school students and encourages them to succeed in the classroom as well as on the field.