Steffy resigns as football coach

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

After nine seasons at the helm, Cloverdale High School football coach Jamie Steffy announced his resignation Monday.

On Monday, the Cloverdale Community School Board accepted Steffy's resignation by a 6-0 vote. Board member Bobbi Nees was not in the room when the vote took place.

Board member David Brinkman made the motion to accept Steffy's resignation, with Don Albietz making the second.

Steffy, along with the remaining three fall athletic coaches, were unanimously approved to continue coaching in their respective sports.

But on Monday, former CHS athletic director and current high school principal Sonny Stoltz said he believed Steffy thought it was time to move on.

"I think it was time for him to re-evaluate," Stoltz told the BannerGraphic following Monday's board meeting. "He just thought it was best for his family. He gave nine solid years to the corporation. It will be a loss for the program, but Cloverdale High School is very thankful for his years of service."

Steffy and his wife, South Putnam High School girls' varsity basketball coach Debbie Steffy, have three children.

On Tuesday, Steffy told the BannerGraphic he wanted to spend more time with his children.

"I thought it was just time," Steffy said. "Our kids are getting to a certain age when they need the father at home.

"Being a good coach is important, but to me, it's more important to be a good father."

Steffy said he's become somewhat of a train expert since he and his 4-year-old son Evan have started putting them together.

Steffy has been at Cloverdale for 13 years. He spent four seasons as an assistant coach under then head coach Mike Parks before then CHS principal Joe McNary and athletic director John Chestnut recommended hiring him.

"He's put a lot of time in the program," Stoltz said of his outgoing coach.

Steffy took the reigns of the program in 1998. He had a record of 1-9 in his first season, before going 5-6 in 1999. He repeated that mark in 2000 but was 4-6 in 2001, before finishing 3-7 in 2002 and 4-7 in 2003.

In 2004, the Clovers finished with a record of 4-6 while they were 5-6 in 2005. The Clovers finished the 2006 campaign with a record of 3-8.

In Steffy's nine seasons, Cloverdale tallied a record of 34-61. The Clovers have not had a winning record since 7-3 in 1996.

However, in the previous 27 seasons before Steffy took over, the CHS football program averaged a season record of 2-7 and advanced in the Indiana High School Athletic Association Football Tournament only three times.

In his nine seasons, the Clovers averaged four victories per year and advanced in the tourney four times.

Steffy said he was most proud of the football program's academic successes since he's been the head coach, saying the program has seen a significant increase in Academic All-State selections in his tenure.

"There's more to my job than winning," he said.

Both Stoltz and CCSC Supt. Carrie Milner said Steffy will continue to teach U.S. history and advanced placement classes at the high school.

"He's done a good job for us," Milner said. "The board did recommend him for another year. However, he decided it was time to step down."

Milner said the school will begin searching for a replacement as soon as possible.

Stoltz said he believes Steffy is not finished coaching, and said he expects he will coach again.

"I think he still has the passion," Stoltz said.

Steffy agreed.

"I'm not done coaching," he said. "I'm not done. I'm just taking a little break for a bit."

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