Chris Edwards said he had a decision to make between his profession and his family. He chose his family.
Edwards resigned Friday from his duties as athletic director and head football and track coach at Houston High School. He is completing his third year with the district.
Edwards said he and his wife, Sara, are expecting their first child in the fall. His current job would require him to spend too much time away from his family, Edwards said. He accepted a lesser role as offensive coordinator with the Mountain Grove football team. He will also be an assistant track coach.
Edwards’ wife teaches in the Mountain Grove district.
“It was a family decision,” Edwards said. “I was going to short-change someone next year — it was going to be the athletes here or my wife and my newborn son. It’s not fair to do that to either one. In the end, you have to do right with your family.”
Edwards met Monday morning with his football and track teams. He said it was difficult to deliver the news he was leaving.
“They’re like my kids. You spend so much time with them, you get to know them and you love them,” Edwards said. “It’s a hard thing to do.”
Edwards inherited a winless team when he arrived in 2007 from Versailles. After failing to win a game in his first season, Edwards guided the Tigers to a 6-5 record and playoff berth in 2008. The team finished 2-8 this past year.
Edwards said his first victory — a 12-0 win at Cabool to open the 2008 season — was his fondest memory. It snapped the program’s 21-game losing skid.
“One of the biggest things I remember is seeing the kids’ faces after that first win and realizing they were winners,” Edwards said.
Although he was admittedly disappointed in this past season, Edwards said he believes the players have improved their fundamentals, strength and speed during his three-year tenure.
Edwards said he hoped his team and the community would understand his decision.
“I talk to the players all the time about being good men and doing things right with your family,” Edwards said. “What kind of person would I be if I’m preaching that to them and don’t do it myself?”