Joel Cutler is looking to his future, one that will not include a sixth season as Upper Arlington High School football coach.
Cutler led the Golden Bears for almost five full seasons but was placed on administrative leave Oct. 17 while the handling of health and wellness issues for his players was investigated. The school district posted the supplemental contract for his position Nov. 30.
Cutler said he contacted the district office earlier in the day and informed them he did not intend to re-apply for next season.
“At this point, I’m just focusing on my future and the next chapter of my career,” said Cutler, who did not comment on the investigation. “It’s been a trying situation. I’m very lucky to have a supporting, understanding wife (Elaine) and two wonderful sons (T.J. and Zack) and great family and friends. I’m very grateful for any and all support I’ve received throughout the whole process.”
According to district director of communications Karen Truett, Cutler notified the district Nov. 30 that he was not going to re-apply for the job.
“Coach Cutler does not intend to apply for the head football (coaching) position in 2019,” athletics director Tony Pusateri said. “We’re just going to go on from here.”
UA went 1-1 in Cutler’s absence but lost to Dublin Coffman 17-0 on Oct. 26 to end the regular season and fall short of making the playoffs in Division I, Region 2.
The Bears finished 5-5 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Central Division and placed ninth in the Region 2 computer ratings as the top eight teams qualified for the postseason.
Not counting the games he missed this season, Cutler went 29-21 overall and 14-13 in the league at UA. The Bears made the playoffs just once, in 2015, and went 0-11 against their two biggest rivals, Coffman and Hilliard Davidson.
Assistant coach Barry Fox led the team in Cutler’s absence.
“The whole time I’ve been here, I’ve been blessed with a great group of men, both coaches and players, who always strived to do the right thing,” Cutler said. “I’m pleased with and proud of how they handled the situation.”
Cutler will continue to teach physical education at Greensview Elementary School in the UA district.
Applicants to succeed Cutler should send a cover letter, résumé and references to Kristy Garrison at firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 8.