- May 16, 2023
Travis Roland — the player — captained the football program’s only state championship team in 2003. Roland the coach (defensive coordinator) has successfully helped lead the Bucs for the last five seasons and one other season before a short stint with Seabreeze. There is no doubt. Roland is Mainland — through and through.
When head coach Scott Wilson became the Bucs’ head coach in 2011, he called Roland to return to Mainland. They’ve sustained top-tier success together, and Roland’s defense has lent a great hand. In the last five seasons, Mainland’s defense has shut out 19 opponents. Only eight opponents have scored more than 21 points in the last three seasons.
But, with success comes opportunities. And Flagler Palm Coast, which fired its head coach after this past season, sought out Roland, who accepted the job, becoming a first-time head coach.
“When they (administration) contacted me, I was shocked,” Roland said. “It just felt like a natural fit. FPC is a hidden gem.”
As the sports writer for both the Palm Coast and Ormond Beach Observer, I’m excited to see what Roland will bring to Flagler County. He has helped shape the Mainland culture to what it is today. Every practice rep between offense and defense breeds heated competition. Even coaches get in on celebrations, as I remember Roland jumping up to celebrate with two of his players after his defense knocked down a play at practice.
But the same things Mainland and I have come to enjoy about his enthusiastic personality are the same reasons Roland will be sorely missed at Mainland.
“I’m very proud for him and his career,” Wilson said. “He is much deserving of being a head coach. He possesses all the qualities of being successful and raising young men to be quality adults. He has so much passion, and that will help make the FPC program successful.”
I agree with Wilson. But I also know it’s tough to see your friend and assistant coach leave. I think the star player Brian Jenkins's Twitter post sums up all of Mainland’s thoughts: “I understand the aspect of it all. You're a man who has a family and a career...can't say it doesn't hurt, though.”
It's bittersweet.for both sides.