When reached by phone last night, former Colony High School football coach Matt Bechtel said he resigned Tuesday with the intent to explore other coaching opportunities, perhaps in the college ranks. It came as a surprise to many when the coach stepped down after a successful two-year run at Colony that ended with a Mt. Baldy League championship and a trip to the CIF-SS Central Division semifinals in his second season as a head coach after seven years as the Los Osos High School offensive coordinator.
Echoing Colony athletic director Jaime Sandoval’s comments on Tuesday evening, Bechtel referenced the desire to coach college football, but was clear that nothing specific is currently lined up.
“I need to do what’s best for my family and what’s best for me at this point in my life,” Bechtel said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have some opportunities presented to me virtually every season and there’s some things that have struck my attention. I don’t have anything for sure in the works, but I have a good feeling that things are going to develop.”
Bechtel timed his resignation such that the school would have ample time to find a replacement, though he will coach the team through the end of spring football. Resigning was something he has been contemplating for months but when it came time to execute his plan, the task wasn’t easy.
“It’s not a knee-jerk decision where I all of a sudden said, ‘It’s over,’ Bechtel said. “It was an extremely tough decision and when you tell these kids about all the things you want to do with their program and then you have to look them in the eye and tell them you’re leaving, it’s not easy. People think that if a coach leaves a school that there must be some sort of conflict or bitterness, but that’s not the case at all. I’m leaving on good terms and there are no hard feelings with anybody at Colony.”
Rumors have circulated that Bechtel’s resignation had to do with the inability of the Colony administration to replace departed assistants with on-campus coaches, a dispute Bechtel said never occured.
“I think any high school coach in America would want as many assistant coaches as possible on campus,” Bechtel said. “We all want more. But the reality is there are hardly any teaching jobs out there these days. There was never any point and time where there was a debate about getting a coach on campus.”
The primary reason Bechtel repeatedly cited for his exit was to pursue other opportunities.
“There are a couple at the collegiate level and a couple at the high school level that are possibilities,” he said. “It’s always been a goal of mine to be a college football coach. Opportunities don’t always arise on your time. Sometimes when they come up, you have to jump on them. My goal has always been to advance in the coaching profession.”