DENVER — Tony Lindsay Sr. is making a move to a different football program in the city.
Lindsay, the longtime coach at city power Denver South, has accepted the job at Far Northeast, according to the athletic director at each school.
A primary factor in his decision was proximity to his home. He will be able to walk to practice, if wants to.
Lindsay was 78-33 in 10 seasons as the Rebels' coach, including an appearance in the Class 4A title game in 2012. His teams had winning seasons in nine of those years, and made the playoffs the past seven seasons.
He will take over a program at Far Northeast that has been through four coaches in the previous four seasons, including a span of 3-27 over the past three. Prior to that, John Trahan had the program, known then as Montbello, in the 2013 playoffs.
Far Northeast is a co-op program that combines enrollment from smaller high schools on and around the former Montbello campus. The program, which plays in Class 5A, has a combined enrollment of 2,948 — which is the second-largest in the state behind Cherry Creek.
The plan is for Lindsay to meet his new team sometime soon, possibly next week.
Far Northeast athletic director Damian Brown said he hopes the hire brings some stability to the program.
"In every realm of what we're doing out here, we're trying to get back to the Montbello days of old, where our kids were competing at a high level," Brown said. "With that, you've got to find coaches that are able to bring stability, discipline, structure to the program so that you can have that. We'll be able to have that in coach Lindsay.
"We're making moves to be able to find those coaches who have a vested interest in the Montbello/Green Valley Ranch area."
Brown noted that the Warriors' hire of David Bennett Jr. as boys basketball coach was in this mold. Bennett went 18-8 in his first season, and reached the 5A Sweet 16.
Next season, Far Northeast will have to replace a lot of their offensive weapons, but a number of players return on defense.
Lindsay leaves the South program in great shape. The Rebels, by most accounts, are the top football program in the city, and one of the best in 4A.
South athletic director Adam Kelsey said his search won't be a geared toward replacing Lindsay and his staff, which includes a number of family members.
"It's hard to replace something as unique as they are," he said. "They have had a huge impact on our football program and our school. But we plan to build on the success they established and will be looking for the right leader to raise the bar further. "
Kelsey said he plans to be interviewing candidates in the first week of April.
"The Lindsays established a program from top to bottom and our kids are used to winning and being successful," Kelsey said, noting that the lower level programs at South went a combined 18-2 last season. "This should be attractive to our next coach as this is not a rebuilding project, it's ready to go and he'll have a whole school and community behind him."
In terms of a candidate, Kelsey said, "We are looking for a coach who can continue to raise the bar for our student-athletes. On the field, in the classroom and the community, we will be seeking someone who is fully committed to the positive outcomes of educational-based athletics."
A huge part of that will be continuing to attract kids to a school that largely depends on open enrollment: Roughly 60 percent of those attending South are school-of-choice enrollees.
Because of that, the Denver Broncos-sponsored Futures League has been a huge boost to city programs who use it as a feeder program — something the suburban schools have long since established.
"As a school, South is thriving and growing," Kelsey said. "It has become an attractive destination for DPS students and beyond. We are not just limited to our neighborhood students as other schools might be. This can be an attractive attribute for a football program that also has room to grow."
Brown said he hopes that Lindsay can continue the success he had via the Futures League at Far Northeast.
"The Futures program — any of our feeder programs, our Little League programs — is huge," he said. "By bringing in the big names like Tony Lindsays, David Bennetts, that's huge to the stability of our program, and those kids coming back to our program."
Follow all of the movement this offseason in our coaching changes tracker.