Michael Whitehead released a statement to The Sentinel on Sunday afternoon, two days after Cumberland Valley officially posted an opening for the football team's head coaching job.
In it, Whitehead thanked the team's alumni, midget program, booster club, friends, family and teachers. He also expressed a desire to continue coaching.
"It has been an honor to coach football at Cumberland Valley since 1996. I can be proud of my record and accomplishments as a head and assistant coach," Whitehead's statement began. "As the school district has chosen to open up the head football job and go in a different direction, I can look myself in the mirror and say that I did things the right way."
Whitehead said he was most proud of three things: the relationships he built with players and coaches, "watching young men develop as leaders" and the team's on-field success.
"As this chapter of my life closes, I know I still want to coach and develop young men both on and off the field and I can look back fondly at these relationships and friendships that I have developed and be proud of my accomplishments as a head and assistant coach," he said.
CV posted a job opening Friday evening for the head coach position, ending Whitehead's seven-year tenure in charge of the Eagles. The lifelong Eagle went 59-29 since 2013, led the team to three District 3 championship games and won one. He replaced Tim Rimpfel in 2013.
Whitehead played for and coached with two of Cumberland Valley's legendary coaches. He graduated in 1988 after playing for Harry Chapman, then joined Rimpfel's coaching staff in the '90s a few years after graduating from Washington and Jefferson College, where he played collegiate football. He was the head baseball coach for more than a decade and serves at the high school as a math teacher.
After three District 3 championship trips in five years, the Eagles went through a rebuilding year in 2018 and battled a raft of injuries this season, going 8-13 over the past two years. They made the District 3 Class 6A playoffs this season and nearly upset Manheim Township in the first round.
Cumberland Valley, in a statement Friday, did not provide a reason for their decision to move on from just the third football coach the program has known since 1971, simply thanking Whitehead and saying the administration wished to take "the program in a different direction."
The job post will remain open through Nov. 22, at which point Cumberland Valley is expected to begin interviewing potential candidates.