The Washington City School Board of Education on Monday evening accepted the resignation of head football coach Corey Dye.
Dye has been the head coach of the Washington Blue Lions for the past seven seasons.
The Record-Herald received a press release from Jon Creamer, Washington High School athletic director.
It read, in part, “the Washington Athletic Department would like to thank Coach Dye for his years of service and dedication to the Blue Lion football team and we wish him nothing but the best.”
During that time, the Blue Lions compiled a record of 36 wins and 35 losses.
The best season during Dye’s time as a head coach was 2010, when the Blue Lions went 8-2 in the regular season and qualified for the playoffs. In the playoffs, Washington lost in the first round to Springfield Shawnee, 56-20.
“I felt like the time was right,” Dye said Monday afternoon. “I’ve been the head coach for seven years. I feel like I’ve done things in the program. There are a lot of talented kids coming up.
“I just felt like it was time to step down and let somebody else come in and run the program,” Dye said. “Somebody fresh; get a fresh face in there.
“Part of the reason, too, is, I want to spend more time at home,” Dye said.
Dye, who teaches physical education at Belle Aire Intermediate School and his wife, Courtney, a teacher at Cherry Hill Primary School, have two daughters, Kendall, 11, is in the fifth grade and Karris, 7 years old, is a second grader.
“My daughters are getting older,” Dye said. “It’s just a combination of those two things.
“I love this program,” Dye said. “I want to see it do well. I just felt like the time was right. It was time for a change.”
Dye took a few moments to acknowledge all those who’ve helped him along the way during his time as the head football coach at Washington High School.
“I want to thank Washington for allowing me the opportunity,” Dye said. “I’ve been teaching and coaching here for the last 15 years. I’ve been the head coach for seven of those years.
“I’ve made some really wonderful memories,” Dye said. “We’ve had a lot of good things happen over the past several seasons. I’m really going to cherish those memories. Those are memories that I’m going to have for the rest of my life.
“Probably one of my favorite memories was when we were able to break the losing streak against Miami Trace,” Dye said. Washington had not defeated their rivals, the Miami Trace Panthers, since 1989 when Washington ended the streak with a 26-15 win in 2010.
The Blue Lions followed that with a 42-20 win over the Panthers in 2011.
“Making the playoffs, obviously, that’s a special memory,” Dye said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to coach some wonderful kids,” Dye said. “I got to meet some wonderful parents through coaching their kids.
“I’ve had the privilege of coaching with a lot of great coaches,” Dye said. “If I try to name them all, I’m liable to leave someone out and I don’t want to do that.
“I appreciate all the support from the community,” Dye said. “We have had a lot of local businesses that have supported us.
“It’s going to be sad, but, I’m always going to be a Blue Lion,” Dye said. “I’m a huge Blue Lion supporter. I may not be on the sidelines next year, but I’ll be cheering the kids on.
“It was a tough decision,” Dye said. “It wasn’t an easy decision at all. After sitting down with my family, we just felt like it was time.
“I grew up in this community,” Dye said. “I went to school here. My wife and I teach here. We love this community dearly.”
Dye, 38, would not rule out the prospect of coaching again at some point.
“I’m helping with youth sports with my daughters,” Dye said. “Both of my daughters play basketball and I help with both of their teams. I want to be able to continue to watch them grow.
“You know, really, you only get one chance as a father,” Dye said. “I started missing some things over the last few years and that really got to me. Coaching football is such a demanding job. It’s everyday. It’s everyday from the time it starts in August until the time it ends in late October.
“I feel that one of my biggest accomplishments was bringing Mark Bihl back home,” Dye said. “Getting him involved with our strength and conditioning program. I really love the job that he’s done. He’s going to continue to do a great job for the school district.
“It’s been a great ride,” Dye said. “It’s been a lot of fun. One of the things I would like people to understand is, it was never about winning, for me. It was about establishing relationships with these kids and giving them a really awesome experience; one that they can remember the rest of their lives.
“It’s nice to win, but, it’s not the most important thing,” Dye said. “Helping these young men deal with adversity. Sports helps to shape young people. It teaches them how to work together with a team; how to deal with adverse situations; being able to be resilient. How are you able to bounce back. Those are all important things. Those are things that I always tried to instill in my kids.
“Anybody who knows me knows that I coach for the kids,” Dye said. “That was really my main goal, giving them an awesome experience. That was the most important thing to me. I feel like, for the most part, I accomplished that, as a coach. I’m sad to walk away, but, I’m okay with it. Because I did the best job I could possibly do and I had a lot of fun doing it. I wasn’t forced out at all. This was a decision that my family and I decided to make and we felt like the time was right for me to step down.
“Growing up in this community, I was very fortunate to have great coaches, like Roy Lucas and Troy Dawson. And Terry Feick and Tommy Dean and Gary Shaffer.
“I grew up having great coaches,” Dye said. “That’s really one of the reasons I got into coaching; having guys like that who were really a positive influence on me. It was kind of my way of giving back. I’ll continue to help and probably coach things. As far as being a head coach again, I’m not sure. I’m not sure if I’ll do that, but, coaching is in my blood and it’s always going to be in my blood.
“I loved the grind,” Dye said. “The game-planning with the staff; just being around the kids. That’s the part I’m going to miss the most. I’ve been involved with football since I was a water boy at the age of 8. That’s where it all started. I started as water boy for the freshman team under Terry Feick when I was eight and moved up the ranks. I’ve always been fascinated by football. I love football and I always will.
“I followed Johnny Enochs,” Dye said. “I actually coached with Johnny. He’s a big reason why I decided to become a head coach. Without his influence, I never would have been able to get myself ready. I’m really glad I was able to bring Johnny back, because, we had a great time together.
“Right now, I just really want to focus on my family and spend a lot more time with them,” Dye said. “Football is so demanding. It takes a lot of time. I’m really excited for the future of the program. I think it’s heading in the right direction. I feel like I’ve done all I can do and I’m good with that.
“I have no doubt that Mr. Creamer and our administration will find somebody that will do a nice job,” Dye said. “Washington Court House is a great place. It’s a great place to live and a great place to raise your kids. My advice to the next coach would be to get out and get to know the people in this community. We have great people and a lot of support. We have a lot of business that are more than giving. It’s a great place to be; it’s a great place to coach.
“For the next coach, I wish him nothing but the best,” Dye said. “Like I said, I may not be on the sidelines coaching, but I’ll be cheering the kids on. I’m still a Blue Lion, through and through.”
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1