York County football coach resgins, saying: 'I don't think I'm the right guy for this job'

CHRISTIAN EBY
The (Carlisle) Sentinel (TNS)
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After 33 years of being involved with high school football, and four years into his second stint at Red Land High School, Frank Gay has resigned as head coach of the Patriots.

Gay stepped down as the leader of the York County program on Wednesday morning after speaking with family and friends in the last few days, he said. His resignation is pending approval from the West Shore School District school board.

Gay cited frustration and the wear and tear of coaching the last four seasons as his main reasons for stepping down.

"I've been trying to change the culture at Red Land for four years," Gay said Thursday morning in a phone call, "and it's been a really tough process, I'm not gonna lie. I've got some really, really good kids, but I found myself growing more and more frustrated with the kids that don't show up and the kids that we're counting on or they missed this and they've got this excuse. And here I am, I'm frustrated in front of the kids that are really good kids, that show up to everything, and they see me in that light. And here I am, and I'm short with them. That's not fair to them, it's not fair.

"Coaching has changed over the course of the last four years, for sure, and I just looked in the mirror and said, 'Am I the guy for this job? Am I the guy that can turn this culture around?' Over the last month and a half I kept asking myself and looking at myself in the mirror, and I came to the realization that I don't think I'm the right guy for this job."

Gay spent two stints as the head coach at Red Land. He landed his first head coaching job with the Patriots in 2003 and guided the program until 2010. From 2011-2016 Gay coached the Camp Hill football program, leading the Lions to two straight District 3 titles in 2014 and 2015 and an overall 44-25 record.

In 2017, he took a volunteer assistant coach position at Dover before returning to Red Land in 2018. Across his two stints with the Patriots, Gay compiled an overall 55-70 record and steered Red Land to a district Class 3A championship in 2006 and a PIAA state semifinal spot the same year. The Patriots have endured four consecutive losing seasons in Gay's second stint.

As of Thursday morning, Gay said he is retired from coaching and will see how life without football feels over the summer.

In an email Thursday afternoon, Red Land athletic director Tom Peifer told The Sentinel the head coaching position is set to be posted some time late Thursday.

"One-hundred percent the chance being around the kids all the time," Gay said of what he'll miss most. "I think they're great kids, and I've got some great kids that that I'm gonna miss tremendously. I tried to get them to understand this isn't me giving up on you, it's me being realistic with myself and with you guys."