Bobby Carroll is stepping away from coaching high school football for now.
York’s head coach will leave the school Feb. 15, 2019. The 36-year coaching veteran told his team Wednesday morning.
“I’m out,” Carroll confirmed Wednesday.
Carroll spent 22 years as a defensive coach at Northwestern, launched South Pointe’s powerhouse program and spent six years there, before wrapping up his career with eight years in charge of his alma mater, the York Cougars.
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The 56-year old used an analogy to explain the timing of his resignation. When a flight attendant runs through the safety protocol before a flight, she tells passengers that, if the oxygen mask falls down out of the ceiling, to put it on yourself first, then worry about others.
“Well, for the last 36 years I’ve put it on the people around me,” said Carroll. “Time for me to take a big, deep breath and regain some momentum and get in the next chapter of my life.”
Carroll finishes -- or pauses? -- his head coaching career with a 120-49 record. He led the 2008 Stallions to an undefeated season and a state title, took York to the 2014 state final, coached in the Shrine Bowl and North-South all-star game, coached in the Under Armour All-American game twice, and helped mold the careers of multiple NFL players at Northwestern, South Pointe and York, including Jadeveon Clowney, the 2014 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick.
“I’m extremely thankful for Northwestern High School, my days there, my days at South Pointe, and the last eight years at York have been incredible,” Carroll said. “Great people, great community, really supportive of football. I just think York needs a shot in the arm and some new leadership. We’re leaving the program better than we found it.”
In a coaching career full of memories, one stands out.
Carroll took the head job at York in 2011 so that he could coach his son, Spencer. Growing up, Spencer had heard all about playing Gaffney at The Reservation, how tough and great Gaffney’s program was and how difficult it was to beat them at home. A year after Carroll took over York’s program, Spencer quarterbacked the Cougars to a 34-19 win at Gaffney. Son ran up to father after the game and said, “Dad, we got ‘em!”
“That is the most memorable moment I’ve ever had in football,” Carroll said. “If I had stayed at South Pointe I’d have never gotten to live that, and that was worth, probably, multiple state championships... it was all worth it because that was the most memorable part I had in three decades of coaching.”
Carroll made clear that he’s resigning his position, not completely retiring from coaching. He said he’ll spend the next few months fishing or baling hay at his father-in law’s farm. Then he’ll figure out the next step.
Until then, if anybody needs some hay, holler at him.