Bay, football coach Mike Watkins split after three seasons

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Following a tumultuous season on and off the field for the football program and its coach, Bay High School will not renew Mike Watkins' contract for the 2019 season.

Principal Billy May confirmed the decision to News Channel 7, saying the school wants to "go in another direction with the program."

The decision ends a three year stint on the job for Watkins, finishing with a 10-16 overall record. The program got off to a good start in 2016 under his watch, going 7-3. The Tornadoes followed that success with a 2-8 campaign in 2017 and a 1-5 mark in a hurricane-abbreviated 2018 season.

Watkins was suspended one game for a DUI arrest in September.

Principal May said the school will begin advertising for the job after the holidays, acknowledging the process will be tougher than usual given the rebuilding nature from a football and facilities standpoint.