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Coral Springs Mayor: Athletic Hot-Spot Status Brought "Best City" Honors From Money

Earlier this week, Money magazine named Coral Springs the 44th best "small city" to live in of 2010. Not too shabby, eh? Coral Springs beat out Coconut Creek (48) and Wellington (72), the only other Florida locales to make the top 100. Mayor Scott Brook says the city's sweet 44 slot goes beyond the Sportsplex, which the Money write-up applauded, to a general athletic prowess.

"We have the aquatics complex where Olympic medalists train, including Dana Torres... I attribute the success to the 63 parks and recreational opportunities we have throughout our city," Brook says. "We have the Sportsplex, we have the incredible ice arena where the Panthers

train -- it has a national reputation. We have the gym where national basketball tournaments take place and fantastic soccer fields used by international teams.

"The main purpose, though, is for our citizens," Brook says. "They can go to the gym, the aquatics center, the tennis center, and we also have these great golf complexes."

Is Coral Springs really the athletic hub of South Florida? Well, it may not be able to compete with Miami now that the Heat is a celebrity lovefest of a team, but a ton of athletic talent has come from, and is currently brewing, in the schools.

Four junior golfers, including Alexis Thompson ("I just saw her in the paper the other day," Brook muses) claim the city, while Olympian Walter Dix trained on the track-and-field team at Coral Springs High School. Another Olympian, Misty May, called Coral Springs home at the time she won her gold medal.

Patriots QB Darius Butler went to charter school in Coral Springs; former Saints linebacker Dan Morgan got his diploma from J.P. Taravella High.

More a lawyer than an athlete, Brook moved to South Florida from New York City in 1989.

"We also have great restaurants in Coral Springs, but we could use a jazz club," he says. "If someone wants to bring a jazz club to our city, maybe we'll be number one next year."

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Lisa Gartner
Contact: Lisa Gartner