He may be new to Destin Marlin football, but it's not his first time to blow a coach's whistle.

Mark Hinterthan, who has 27 years of experience coaching football, is the new head football coach at Destin Middle School.

Hinterthan came on staff last year at Destin Middle as a social studies teacher and has stepped back on to the playing field.

“High school is mostly my background,” Hinterthan said, noting this would be his 28th year to coach on the gridiron.

The 56-year-old graduated from University Central Florida in 1986 and started coaching football in 1988 in Ocala. He has been an offensive and defensive coordinator as well as a head coach all the way to the 7A level.

He even won a state championship at Trinity Catholic.

“I was fortunate to come through the ranks with good friends that were pros and college players,” Hinterthan said.

But what brought him to the area? Family.

“I needed a change,” he said, after both his parents died within three weeks of each other.

Plus he had a sister and brother-in-law in the area with a fishing business.

Hinterthan came up and worked with David Krebs of Aerial Seafood for a little over a year, before he got the itch.

“I got to itching to get back into coaching.”

He ended up at South Walton High School, but wanted to coach in the community where he lives — Destin.

“So I ended up here at Destin Middle and I’m loving every minute of it,” he said.

The biggest difference for Hinterthan is going from high school to middle school.

“I’m underestimating what these guys can and can’t do,” he said. “But my job is to prepare them for high school and the game of football.”