With increasingly busy weekends and expected travel forthcoming, Scott Gordon resigned Dec. 12 as Thomas Worthington High School football coach.
Gordon's son, Danny, a senior who started at quarterback for the Cardinals this past season, plans to play in college but has yet to make his college decision. Gordon would like to see him play in college as well as watch his daughter, Kendall, a redshirt sophomore who plays lacrosse at the University of Louisville.
"It was tough announcing (my resignation) to the (players), but it's something I saw coming down the pike," Gordon said. "As a parent, I want to enjoy the remaining opportunities I have to watch my children play. As a coach, I don't think it would be fair and might not even be possible to try to do both things."
Athletics director Scott Dorne said a search to replace Gordon is underway. He is hoping to have the position filled by the end of January.
"We've sent out emails, reached out to the media, posted the opening with the OHSAA and with the Ohio Interscholatic Athletics Administration Association," Dorne said. "We're setting up an interview panel and gathering the insight. On the review panel, we'll have representatives from the football program and Quarterback Club, other non-football coaches from within the building and school admistrators, plus our middle school athletics director and me."
The panel will make a request to Worthington Schools superintendent Thomas Tucker, who will seek approval from the school board. Dorne, who is in his first school year as Thomas AD, said he has heard nothing but positive remarks about Gordon.
"Listening to those around town, it is my estimation that coach Gordon was extremely well-liked and well-respected in the community," Dorne said. "We have been very fortunate to have him work with our young kids. The student-athletes always came first and that says a lot about him. He is still displaying that he is a class act by continuing in his role during the transition period. He is trying to finish the recruiting phase for our senior class and continuing to work in the weight room to help make the underclassmen stronger for the next coach."
A 1980 Worthington graduate, Gordon went 22-48 in seven seasons with the Cardinals. He also served as an assistant coach in the program for nine seasons (1982-90).
His best season leading Thomas came in 2009 when the team finished 5-5. The Cardinals have not had a winning season since going 7-3 in 1999.
"I love coaching, especially at my alma mater," said Gordon, who will remain dean of students at Thomas. "But it's too big of a pull for me. I came here with a lot of goals and aspirations and I haven't been able to get the program where I want it to be. Based on the amount of energy it takes to turn things around and with my heart and time also needed by my family, it's a good time to let someone else have the opportunity to see if they can get things turned around."
The Cardinals finished 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Central Division this past season and will be losing 27 seniors.
"This is a great group to finish with because they're all my sons," Gordon said. "Because of Danny, I've been around the kids in this senior class since they were very young."
Prior to arriving at Thomas in 2007, Gordon coached Grandview for four seasons, compiling a 22-19 record. In 2005, he guided the Bobcats to their first league title since 1979 by winning the MSL-Cardinal Division and their first playoff berth since 1987.
"I'm sure somewhere down the line, I will get involved in coaching again," Gordon said. "I love being a coach and working with kids."