HOLGATE — Tigers boys basketball coach Brad Hurst, in a letter, resigned his position Wednesday. The Holgate Schools Board of Education will meet Monday to accept Hurst’s resignation.
Hurst said he needed to make a decision about his coaching career and his education, pursuing a master’s degree in education so he can become a school administrator.
“It was a very hard decision to make,” said Hurst. “The last two weeks have really been stressful. I have been working on my master’s degree for two years now and have not done much with that.
“I love the game of basketball, and I always will,” said Hurst. “It takes a lot of time out of your life and to try and do something else, there is just not enough time to do both. I didn’t want to take that from the boys.”
Holgate Athletics Director Richard Finley said he attempted to talk Hurst back into coaching, but understood the difficulty of his decision.
“Brad is working on his goal of becoming an administrator down the line and that takes a lot of time,” said Finley. “That is the main reason for him stepping down as the basketball coach.”
Hurst will remain as a teacher and varsity cross country coach at Holgate.
“Brad Hurst has been an outstanding coach,” said Finley. “Brad has made a great contribution to the school, not only as a teacher, but as a coach. I am happy he is still the varsity cross country coach in the fall.”
Hurst said he has no classes scheduled in the fall, therefore his schedule allows him to retain that position.
Hurst took over before the 2014-15 season and two years later led the Tigers to a 21-5 season, capturing the program’s first district title in 10 years and finishing in a three-way tie atop the Green Meadows Conference standings.
But low numbers within the program have led to struggles on the court, as Holgate has managed an 8-61 record across the last three years.
Before his tenure as the varsity coach, Hurst coached the junior varsity team.
“I want to thank all of the great young men I coached over the past 6 years,” said Hurst in his letter of resignation. “I cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work and many hours of commitment, from watching film, staying after practice to shoot, and many hours during the summer improving their own skills.
“I also want to thank Joe Pennington, Sean Kobilis, Dave Grim, Bryan Post and Dane Held for coaching and committing countless hours into the program,” he continued. “Numerous hours planning and strategizing did not go unnoticed for the success of the players. Good luck to all of the underclassmen and keep working hard to be the best you can be.”
Commitment to his players was the biggest reason for Hurst stepping down.
“We expected a lot from (the players) and they expected a lot from me,” said Hurst. “I couldn’t be there 100%. They gave me everything they had and they get all the credit for that.”
Finley said he would post the open position internally after the board meeting and then externally after that, if needed.
“Hopefully, we will have a good batch of candidates,” said Finley, who said he had no exact timetable to filling the position. “Sooner is always better, but we always want to have the best person, candidate possible.
“I am sorry to see Coach Hurst go,” added Finley. “He did a good job here at Holgate.”