Jimmy Tucker, who recently stepped down as Grain Valley High School’s football coach after three seasons, said that nobody asked for his resignation and that he had the backing of the school’s administration.
Tucker met the players Monday afternoon to break the news.
“I think they were surprised,” he said. “It was a hard decision for both of us with what we had coming back.
“I felt like it’s in the best interest for me and my family.”
In Tucker’s three seasons the Eagles had records of 6-5, 2-8 and 4-6 (1-4 Missouri River Valley West Conference). This past season the program had 105 players (76 on the varsity roster), including just eight seniors but 28 juniors.
“I’m very proud of what our players and coaches accomplished, especially this year with a young team,” Tucker said. “Our numbers went up each year, and I’m proud of that.”
Tucker came to Grain Valley to replace the retired Forrest Rovello after compiling a 46-24 record in six seasons at Class 3 Bowling Green in northeast Missouri. Not only did Grain Valley’s roster grow during his tenure, but he also pointed to winter and summer offseason training numbers that nearly in doubled in participants.
The now-former coach said his decision to step down did not come in the weeks immediately after the 2013 season ended, but rather came after a recent thought process. He isn’t sure where he and his family will land next.
“It’s just been in the last month or two,” he said. “We’re just trying to go where God leads us.”
In a prepared statement, Tucker reiterated his pride of the players’ and coaches’ accomplishments.
“Our numbers have went up every year despite being a young team, and our work ethic has improved as well,” he said in the statement. “I would like to thank the parents and players for all the support. I am grateful to the Grain Valley administration for the opportunity and all the support they have given me. I wish the team nothing but the best next season.”
Mike Tarrants, Grain Valley’s activities director, said the football coaching position should be posted Friday, and he plans to take applications through February and hopes to begin the interview process in March.