Florida football coach suspends himself after video shows him verbally attacking player

A Florida preparatory school football coach has suspended himself and is stepping away as the head coach after a video shared on social media showed him verbally attacking one of his players.

The video shows Derek Jenks, 45, getting in the player's face and repeatedly yelling at him to "do something."

Jenks, the head coach and founder of Southwest Florida Preparatory and Technical Institute in Naples, Florida, announced his suspension in a video shared on the school’s Facebook page.

“I’m going to do what I can to seek mentorship [for] myself to be able to become a better coach [and] mentor to my players and so that I can make sure this never happens again,” Jenks said in the video.

Jenks was sitting next to Alvin Day, the player who he verbally attacked in the video shared online.

“I’m glad he’s holding himself to the same standard that he held us to,” Day said. “I’m hoping we can move forward.”

It's unclear what the self-suspension means in terms of drawing pay or taking a leave of absence. USA TODAY has reached out the institute for comment.

Incorporated in January 2022 as a Florida not-for-profit corporation, Southwest Florida Prep and Tech Institute is a tuition-based school that offers credit recovery and SAT preparatory classes as well as technical school options for post-high school football players, many of whom are trying to secure opportunities to play in college.

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Derek Jenks' football history

Jenks, a Michigan native, has coached football at multiple levels in Southwest Florida and in 2019 was listed as the president of the Bonita Bullsharks Youth Football and Cheer, the Naples Daily News reported, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Prior to founding Southwest Florida Prep and Tech, Jenks coached at McDougle Technical Institute Preparatory in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he said he got his start in post-grad football.

He is also the owner of Custom Outdoor Creations, a Naples landscape design company, the publication reported.

As of Saturday, Jenks appeared to have deleted both his X and Instagram accounts.

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