Delaware Hayes High School is searching for a football coach.

Delaware Hayes High School is searching for a football coach.

Mike LoParo notified athletics director Clint Fetty and principal Brad Faust on Jan. 25 that he would resign at the end of the school year to accept the football coaching position at Hilliard Bradley.

LoParo met with his players on the morning of Jan. 26 to explain his decision. He lives in Hilliard and his wife teaches at Bradley.

"It's not football related at all," said LoParo, who also resigned his position as a social studies teacher. "I wanted them to understand that. My children go to school in Hilliard and will be starting to play sports soon. It would be very tough for me to be here and there in the future."

LoParo guided the Pacers to a 16-15 record in three seasons, including the program's only Division I playoff appearance in 2008. That season, the Pacers went 7-4 and lost to Pickerington Central 38-21 in the first round of the postseason.

Delaware finished 3-7 last fall, including 2-5 in the OCC-Capital Division.

LoParo will replace Ted Wierzbicki, who was 5-15 overall and 1-12 in the OCC-Capital in Bradley's first two seasons.

"This is just a bittersweet situation," LoParo said. "I've loved it here, but I think I have to go. I've struggled with the decision for days and I even struggled to go through the process at Bradley."

LoParo thinks that the success Delaware enjoyed in his three-year stay will help the program land a quality coach.

"There is a bright future here," he said. "The freshman class is special, and there will be a strong coach here because of the talent and the great support from the parents and community. That's the one thing I think makes the decision easier. The program is in much better shape now than when I took over."

Hayes is looking for its eighth coach in program history, but fourth since 2003. Past coaches have included Jerry Cornell (1961-80), Darrell Mayne (1981-84), Dave Brown (1985-91), Mike Marshall (1992-2002), Brian Staats (2003), Jamie Masi (2004-07) and LoParo (2008-10).

"We're sorry to see him go," Fetty said. "He did some great things with this program during his three years, helping us get to the next level."

Fetty said the position will be posted internally and across the state. Candidates will interview with a search committee that will include students, staff, parents and community members.