MEAD -- Three years ago, Martin Clark took up the difficult task of building an infant Mead football program from scratch.
Now he is moving on to take on a new kind of nurturing.
Clark resigned from his position as Mead head football coach recently so he could be more available for his wife Sarah Clark, who is due to give birth in May.
School officials are accepting applications for the opening and hope to begin interviewing candidates in the coming weeks.
"I just can't give the amount of time I need to the kids and the program overall," Clark said. "I've got a more important job to do now."
Clark led the Mavericks to a 3-17 record in two varsity seasons after playing a JV schedule the first year. But he also helped build excitement about the football program throughout the 3-year-old school.
Mead's first football coach knew the Mavericks would be celebrating small victories for the first few years. But that didn't stop him from striving to create a competitive environment on the sidelines.
"I think we've got a great foundation and that's really what I sought out to do, ultimately, is create the foundation," Clark said. "We've got a great reputation with other teams and talking with other coaches, they're not looking past our kids."
Clark will remain in his role as a social studies teacher at Mead.
While he normally would be looking at spring camps and coaches clinics to attend, Clark will be taking care of his fatherly duties this summer. But he doesn't think his coaching career is over and he hopes to come back and help out at Mead in the future, possibly as an assistant.
"He opened us up and was head coach for the first three years," athletic director Darin Reese said. "He did a nice job building the foundation. Record-wise there were some struggles but he did a good a job of keeping the kids positive and on the right track."
Right now, the Mavericks are still working on registration for next year. Once they have the admissions numbers and know what teaching positions they have to offer, they'll pursue a replacement more aggressively.
Reese said school officials are considering numerous coaches but would prefer one that could also teach in the building.
"Ideally, I think that's best with a head football coach," Reese said. "But we look at things and it's not a deal-breaker."
Moving up to the 3A Tri-Valley League next season will provide whomever the Mavericks hire with a fresh start.
"If there is a good time for a transition, this is probably it," Reese said.
Brad Cochi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.