We are guessing nearly every coach dreams about being able to retire on a winning note – particularly a state championship. If so, Service (Anchorage, Alaska)
coach Jason Caldarera is living the dream.
After 19 years with the Cougars overall, Caldarera stepped down as head coach Wednesday so that he could spend more time with his family. He will remain as the school's athletic director and also to continue to teach physical education.
"I had some health issues in the fall and I had to put some things in perspective," Caldarera, 40, told the Anchorage Daily News
. "My daughter was the starting quarterback in flag football at the end of the year and I realized how much I missed (seeing her play). I don't want to have that feeling anymore."
Caldarera played for Service during his high school years and was an assistant from 1993-99. He took over a highly successful Cougars program that had won three consecutive state titles and continued the tradition. Service played in three of the past four state championships. The Cougars finished 10-0-1 last season.
"Not many people get a choice to leave on the top or to leave without controversy," Caldarera told the newspaper. "I'm doing this totally of my own free will."
In other coaching news around the country:
* Boys basketball coach Marvin Neals of Cardinal Ritter (St. Louis)
and girls basketball coach Ray Preston of Davenport (N.Y.) each won their 600th basketball game Wednesday. Neals has won four state titles in 30 years of coaching, including three at Ritter, most recently in 2010.
"I was a little uptight most of the day because of the anticipation," Neals, 69, told STLToday.com
. "This is a tribute to all of the outstanding kids that I coached. I've been blessed to have a lot of awards in my life but I take it in stride."
As for Preston, in his 33 years he has posted a 600-157 record, good for second place all-time in New York. Preston, who has been coaching at Davenport since 1978 and was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame last year, is only wins from tying retired state leader John Kuhn of Red Hook (N.Y.).
"There are a lot of memories," Preston, 63, told The (Oneonta) Daily Star
. "I thank the girls for being part of it. Obviously, any girl who's played for me is a part of it and it's a big number."
This is second big milestone for Preston this school year. This past fall he recorded his 400th girls soccer victory.
Finally, we know high school football is huge in Texas, and when a highly coveted job comes open there is bound to be a lot of interest. Even the number of applicants for the open position at Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas)
* As reported by the Dallas Morning News
, the school received more than 200 applications for the job, which ultimately went to Matt Green. Most recently Green was the offensive coordinator at Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) for the past three seasons, when the Cavaliers extended their state championship win streak to five.