After a run that included three playoff appearances in four years, the Durango High School football team is looking for a new head coach.
Greg Wyatt resigned as head coach of the Demons on Monday after four years in charge of the football program. He went 21-22 in four years, making the playoffs three times.
The head coach gave a pair of reasons for his departure Tuesday: family and a lack of support.
One is that life had kind of gotten out of bounds, Wyatt said. I dedicate as much of my being as I can to this position. I give 100 percent of myself, my time. ... Its a lot of dedication and passion that I have gotten to the point where its just gotten out of bounds.
Second reason is I just dont feel like Ive been trying to get help from the school, and I dont think thats been forthcoming. ... Support in the building and support outside the building, creating a safe work environment was definitely an issue for me. Its time for somebody else to take the reins, and I just dont feel like Im going to get what I need to coninute to build this program.
Doug Cuddie, an assistant coach for the football team and head wrestling coach at DHS, said outside pressures can wear on a coach, especially in a high-profile sport such as basketball or football.
More people participated in those sports in high school, so more people think that they know whats going on as far as Xs and Os, Cuddie said.
Without being a head football coach, I dont know the extent of what goes on, but I know being through the season with Greg, its a consistent, constant thing. And I cant say right or wrong ... I think its the way certain people go about it.
Cuddie also was quick to point out that coaching changes arent always what fans pushing for them hope theyll turn out to be in the end.
I said to somebody (Tuesday), maybe theyd better watch out what they hope for, maybe, Cuddie said. You dont know what youll end up with next time. Greg was a good man; Ill say that.
Wyatt took the Four Corners by storm in 2009, his first season in charge. He inherited a winless team from the year before, yet Durango started the season 8-0 en route to an 8-3 record and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2001, falling to Pine Creek 33-7 in the opening round of the Class 4A tournament.
The next season wasnt quite as successful in terms of wins and losses, but at 5-5, the Demons earned consecutive postseason berths, losing to Broomfield 49-7 in a first-round contest.
DHS went 4-6 in the regular season in 2011, ekeing out another trip to the Class 4A state tournament. This time, it was Monarch that knocked off Durango in the first round, winning 53-3.
The only year Wyatts team failed to advance past the regular season was this season, which ended Friday. A young Durango team struggled to find consistency, particularly at the quarterback position, and finished 4-6. As it stands, Wyatt, a former quarterback himself, did go out on a victory along with the senior class, as Durango beat Montezuma-Cortez 34-10 last Friday in a nonconference game at Cortez.
Its always best to go out on your own terms, and like I said, weve built a solid program, and our main focus was to build great young men, and we made real good strides in that area, Wyatt said.
Still, hes not ready to pull his support from kids hes coached the last few years. But additional time with his family is a plus.
Family is No. 1 for me, Wyatt said. Its time to put some time back into my family and taking care of them, and thats where we are, and thats where we stand. I wish the kids and the program the best.