After three seasons as head football coach at Tabor College, Mike Gottsch submitted his letter of resignation and announced to his team Nov. 11, that he would step down after Saturday?s season finale against University of Saint Mary.
?I?m looking out for the best interest of the football program, to let Tabor College start the search for a new head coach and hopefully get a very qualified candidate in here very quickly,? Gottsch said. ?I wanted to let them get another coach in here as soon as possible.?
A nationwide search for a new head football coach will begin immediately, led by a three-member search committee comprised of Jules Glanzer, president, Rusty Allen, vice president for athletics, and Norm Hope, business administrative professor who represents the faculty.
?We will immediately post the opening and invite applications,? Allen said. ?At the same time, our search committee will identify and attempt to recruit (people) who we believe are outstanding candidates for the position.
?Ideally, we would have a new coach in place no later than Dec. 1,? he added. ?A quick transition leads to new energy with current players and high retention. Further, a quick transition gives the program a chance to have a strong recruiting year.?
Allen said Gottsch was not asked to resign; Gottsch said such a request ?was coming.?
Although the Bluejays finished 0-10 this season and have a combined 3-27 record under Gottsch?s leadership, Allen acknowledged the positive things Gottsch and his players accomplished.
?Coach Gottsch has a strong work ethic and I have deep appreciation for the time and energy he has given to the Tabor football program,? Allen said. ?Coach Gottsch expected his players to perform, not only on the field but in the classroom, and supported learning in multiple ways.?
Gottsch informed his players he was stepping down before practice Wednesday afternoon.
?I thanked them for their effort and hard work, and for trusting and believing in me and for coming here,? Gottsch said. ?I also let them know that it would be wise for them to stay put and not go looking for greener pastures.
?I?ve built some fantastic relationships with players and parents of players,? he added, ?and I?m really, really going to miss going out to the practice field and working with them every day. Hopefully, they?ve been taught, in addition to becoming better football players, how to become better men.?
Allen said the new head football coach will have discretion as to choose the assistant coaches. Gottsch and assistant coach Ed King, who also resigned, have contracts that end Dec. 31 and each will finish his teaching load for the first semester.
Assistant coach Jake Schenk, whose contract runs through June 30, will serve as an interim point person for the football program in terms of recruiting and off-season conditioning. He also has responsibilities in the classroom through the remainder of the academic year.