"I think I see potential and you can build something and for me it's the challenge to see if you can build a program and make it competitive," Stewart said of why he decided to change now.
Stewart coached 13 seasons at Meadowdale and finished with a record of 87-49. He led the Mavericks to the playoff nine of the seasons and guided seven teams to the state playoffs. This year's loss in the quad-district playoffs was the first time he didn't get Meadowdale to the state playoffs since 2006.
“It's a huge loss for us, not only for our football team but our community," said Meadowdale athletic director Chris Murphy. “Mark is a coach that understands the bigger picture. He works so well with kids not only developing them as football players but helping them become fine young men.”
After mulling over his decision for a while now, Stewart told his players in an emotional meeting Monday afternoon.
"It's mixed emotions," Stewart said Monday after the meeting. "It was honestly pretty emotional and I got a little choked up. I told them they're Meadowdale football and it's up to them to keep it going. It's bigger than me and them as individuals and it's who they are and the people before them and the people after them. That's what it's all about."
Check back for more later and Tuesday's Herald for the full story.
Here's a note Stewart left on the Meadowdale High School Football Team's Facebook page:
To the Meadowdale Community:
I would like to inform you that I have decided to resign my position as Meadowdale' s head football coach and have accepted the position of Head Football Coach/Assistant Athletic Director at Garfield High School.
It is with mixed feelings that I make this decision. For the past thirteen years, the support that I have received from the Meadowdale community has been very meaningful to me. The positive relationships and friendships I have had with my players, staff, administration and community will always be with me and will be remembered as a significant time in my life.
The success of Mav football will continue because Meadowdale is a special place. Thank you for allowing me be a part of it.
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