Schurr High School football varsity head coach Ben Negrete became the latest area coach to call it quits on Wednesday afternoon.
Negrete, who was the Spartans head coach for four years and won three Almont League championships in that time, has decided to take an early retirement from teaching and has resigned his post as head coach, too.
“It was a very juicy incentive for us veteran teachers and it was just too good to pass up,” said Negrete, who is 63. “It’s obviously something I love doing. I’ve been doing it all my life. It was a very difficult decision, but it’s been about 33 years in coaching, so I’m about ready.”
Negrete took over in 2008 for Elvin Dick, who led the Spartans to a CIF championship in 2006. Schurr went 26-18-2 under Negrete and made the postseason in three of his four seasons. The Spartans went 3-7 this past season and missed the playoffs.
Beside Schurr, Negrete also had coaching stops at Upland and Claremont College. The school has begun the process of finding a new coach. Negrete hopes it will be somebody from his staff.
Negrete’s best season at Schurr was 2009 when the team went 9-2-1 and swept the Almont League. Schurr then opened the Southeast Division playoffs with a win over El Rancho and suffered a 33-27 loss to Diamond Ranch in the quarterfinals.
“There’s a million things I’m going to miss,” Negrete said. “The day-to-day contact with my assistant coaches and the players, the relationships you develop over a period of time and the excitement of Friday night football and accomplishing difficult goals that you set up for your program, I’m going to miss those things a lot.”
Negrete will use his time off to care for his aging father. He did not a rule out a return to coaching, however.
“I love coaching football, and who knows, I may get into again after a little break,” Negrete said. “Coaching, itself, never wears me out. I could coach forever.”
Aram’s take: Add another one to the pile. But I will say that Negrete’s departure and the reason why is a bit different from the others. It just so happens to coincide with them. Negrete did a good job keeping Schurr one of the better programs around. Three league titles in four is not too shabby.
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