Renner resigns as Hedgesville's coach

November 22, 1996


Staff Writer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Following every high school football season, Ron Renner took time to evaluate his position as head coach.

This year, he figured he'd had enough.

"For fear of sounding like (Notre Dame coach) Lou Holtz, it's time," said Renner, who resigned as Hedgesville's football coach Wednesday.

Renner guided Hedgesville to five straight playoff appearances after taking over the program in 1991. This year's team finished a difficult season with a 6-4 record and missed the playoffs.


The Eagles, the 1995 Class AAA state runner-up, were hampered by injuries all season. Then, late in the season, Renner was dealt a one-game suspension for a post-game incident following a loss to Jefferson.

Renner said the team's failure to reach the playoffs or the off-field problems had little to do with his resignation.

"This is a decision I've made strictly on my own," he said. "It's a decision I have to live with."

In his six years at the helm, Hedgesville was 49-20.

Renner said he plans to spend more time with his aging parents, who live near Wheeling, W.Va.

"They're not in good health, in fact, (today) I'm leaving to spend some time with them," he said.

After reaching the championship game in 1995, Renner found himself starting from scratch this season. Most of the team's key players had graduated and he had to move several sophomores to varsity, a rare occurrence the past few years in Hedgesville.

"Week in and week out, we were reshuffling the lineup," Renner said. "They did the best job they could do. We were 6-4 and had a chance to make the playoffs.

"When the season started, I told the sophomores they had to play like juniors; the juniors had to play like seniors and the seniors, well, they had to be men. Six and four ... that was a good year. I'm proud of them."

Renner said he will remain at Hedgesville as a physical education teacher, however, has no plans to be involved with the football program.

"I've followed some great coaches and I've learned a few things about when a head coach steps down," Renner said. "You're still supportive of the kids, but you can't be showing up at practices all the time."

In Renner's first year at Hedgesville, he took over a program which had only one winning season in 11 years. The 1992 Eagles went 9-2 and reached the Class AAA quarterfinals, starting a level of success which culminated with last year's state final appearance.

"With any successful program, first of all, you can't do it alone," he said. "You've gotta have good help, good kids."

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