The man who helped build the Northeastern football program from the ground up has decided to step aside.
Brendan Brown has resigned as the Bobcats' head coach. He informed his team of the decision in a postseason meeting last week.
Brown has been the only head coach in the history of the Northeastern football program. He guided the Bobcats through the junior high level and junior varsity competition until they finally began varsity play in 2008. Until that point, Northeastern was the only York-Adams school that didn't offer varsity football.
"Actually, I was strongly considering leaving after last year," Brown said. "But we lost both coordinators and had a lot of seniors coming back, so I rode it out one more year. Building a program from scratch felt like 20 years of work. There are a lot of things I want to do outside of football. I'm engaged now and I want to work on my relationship."
Brown compiled a 22-30 overall record in five varsity seasons, but his most recent teams were his most successful, earning District 3-AAA playoff berths in 2011 and 2012. Each of those teams finished second behind West York in York-Adams Division II at 4-1. This year's team was 7-4 overall, while the 2011 team went 6-5.
"It's been a really great ride," Brown said. "We accomplished almost everything that we wanted. We weren't able to get over the hump with West York, but we went to the playoffs two years in a row, and that was quite an accomplishment."
Brown, 38, said he likely will get back into coaching at some point, but he's ready to get away from the game for a little while.
"This will be the first time in 20-25 years that I will have a year without football in my life," he said. "I'm looking forward to just being a fan of the game."
Brown said he made the decision to resign before the 2012 season started and informed Northeastern athletic director Bryan Stephens and those closest to him.
"I'm excited to see what direction Bryan Stephens goes in," Brown said of the next head coach. "There are couple qualified guys on the staff that I'd like to see get a shot. But I don't have a hand in it. I will support whoever they hire."
Brown, who plans to continue teaching business and computers at Northeastern High School, said the next head coach is coming into a good situation.
"There's a lot of really good young players coming up in the program," he said. "The middle school team won the division this year. There won't be a lot of seniors coming back, but there's enough talent there to be competitive. The new coach isn't going to walk into a bare cupboard."
In addition to head varsity football coach, Stephens is also searching for varsity coaches for boys' soccer and field hockey. Those teams struggled in York-Adams League competition this season. The field hockey team went 1-12-1 in Division I, while the boys' soccer team finished 2-10-0 in Division II.
-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@Yorkdis patch.com.