The Marshall County High School football program is without a head coach after the resignation of Ron Barnard.
Barnard issued a statement to the media on Friday afternoon after notifying school officials of his decision, saying he was resigning immediately from the coaching position.
In Barnard’s four seasons as the Marshals’ coach, the team had a 16-win, 28-loss record. He said it was that record that led him to the decision to step aside.
“I just wanted the kids to win so bad and I thought it was time to let somebody else take over,” he said.
In his statement to the media, Barnard wrote:
“When I took this position four years ago I promised three things: To make academics a priority, to put an emphasis on character development, and to win championships. We have done an excellent job on two of the three.
“I personally feel that we have not produced the winning tradition that I spoke of. This lies in no fault with our student/athletes or assistant coaches. I must hold myself accountable and my resignation gives the school an opportunity to put the program under new leadership. My desire to see our kids succeed is greater than my pride to remain in this position.
“Our most important accomplishment is the impact that we have had on our student/athletes’ lives and the relationships that we have built with them, at school, and within the community. We have had wonderful support and I fully expect that to continue with my successor.”
Both Barnard and Marshall County athletic director Jeff Stokes said the decision to resign was Barnard’s and that he was not forced out.
“He has worked extremely hard since he’s been with our program. I don’t think anybody can question his work ethic,” said Stokes.
Stokes said the school would begin recruiting for the position as early as this week. Once the position is posted there is a mandatory 30-day period before a hire could take place.
Barnard was in the news Jan. 24 when he was hospitalized after the truck he was driving veered on U.S. 68 near Briensburg, hit a tree and overturned. He was not injured, but no cause was determined for loss of consciousness that preceded the crash.
Barnard said the wreck had nothing to do with his resignation.
Barnard teaches in the business department at Marshall County High School. He said he will continue in that capacity through the end of his contract at the end of this school year. His wife, Michelle, also is on the faculty at MCHS.
“Then,” he said, “we’ll sit down as a family and decide what to do and see what comes up.”
He noted that next year will be the senior year for twins Cole and Alyssa, and their wishes would be important. Cole plays football and Alyssa plays basketball and competes in track and field for the Lady Marshals.
“My father-in-law told me never to leave one job until I had another one lined up to go to. Well, I ignored that advice. I don’t have anything going on.”
Barnard replaced Scott Shelton, who had a 13-20 record in three years from 2007 through 2009. Barnard was the eighth coach in the 40-year history of the program, which dates from 1974.