RICHMOND - Mike McKenzie's tenure as head coach of the Edison High School football team has come to an end.
McKenzie made the decision to walk away from the sidelines, but will remain in his post as vice principal at the high school.
The decision was one he was contemplating due to a workload increase in his administration position, but came about much quicker than he expected due to other influences.
Edison football coach Mike McKenzie. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)
"It was something, when we lost our administrator at the school, I knew after the season I had to look at," he said. "Basically, I guess it's happening a little quicker than anticipated, though. Three board members said they wouldn't vote for me and, at this point, I think it's best I resign and move on from there.
"When we went to two administrators I knew my work would be a lot more. I knew when the season was over I'd have to make an evaluation and see if I would still have the time to coach football. It was something I wanted to sit down and think about.
"Things speeded up a little though. I decided Wednesday when I knew I didn't have support of three board members. I told the superintendent of my decision. Bill Beattie was great. He didn't ask me for anything. We talked for a while and at the end of the meeting I decided to turn in my letter of resignation."
More than wins and losses, McKenzie finds what he will miss most about the the head football coach position is the bond he formed with his players as well as the relationships he forged with supporters of the Wildcats' program.
"We had great kids through my time as coach," he said. "Also I worked with a lot of great people as coach. (Principal) Matt Morrison and Bill Beattie showed us a lot of support. We had great support in the athletic department with (Athletic Director) Joann Stagani and Ron Smyth before her. (Assistant Athletic Director) Tom Bocek was very supportive of me as well.
"Bottom line is I'm going to miss being around the kids on a day-to-day basis. I built a lot of great relationships. Football is 12-month sport with lifting and offseason workouts so you're around the kids a lot. I'm going to miss that."
McKenzie posted a 23-47 record over seven seasons with the Wildcats. The only winning season came in 2010 when Edison finished at 8-2.
"Friday nights are one thing, but I enjoy breaking down films and preparing for games. I'll miss the parents who supported our program. We had some very good parents behind us."
Three victories over the past three seasons stood out when he was asked about his teams accomplishments.
"The St. C game two years ago we won in triple overtime was pretty good and enjoyable," said McKenzie. "Beating Buckeye Local last year when they were undefeated, and this year winning at Martins Ferry with all the adversity we faced and how the kids stuck with it. Those are some of the moments that standout on the field."
But it was the off the field moments that McKenzie will truly cherish.
"There were too many moments off the field to talk about them all," he said. "I enjoyed being around the kids. I enjoyed the time with the kids back to our first group in 2006 and all the way thorough.
"Sharing those moments off the field are going to be missed."
Though he is unsure of what his future as a coach holds, he does know he enjoyed his time leading the Wildcats.
"I'm not sure I'm done coaching forever," said McKenzie. "I'm not sure what will happen. I haven't thought of what the future brings because this came about faster than anticipated. I imagine at some point I'll be coaching somewhere. I may take year off (from coaching). I haven't had a chance to think about that yet.
"I'm going to miss being around kids and coaches. They were all a lot of fun to be around."