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Kellick resigns after 22 years as South football coach

November 11, 2009|By MARK KELLER

HAGERSTOWN -- Greg Kellick turned in his resignation as head football coach at South Hagerstown High School on Monday following a disappointing 2009 season.

Kellick said he told his players of his decision following South's 44-0 loss to North Hagerstown on Friday, but did not want to make it public until he turned in his letter of resignation, which he did Monday morning.

Kellick has been a coach on the South staff for 32 years and became the school's sixth head coach in 1988. He compiled an 84-138 record in 22 seasons and led the team to its only playoff berth in 2002.

At the start of the season, Kellick, 61, said he was enjoying coaching and had no plans of stepping down anytime soon. But when the Rebels finished the year 2-8 after having much higher expectations, Kellick said he knew it was time to go.

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"In particular, the last game, I really felt we had a very solid chance of winning that," Kellick said. "Then to lose the way we did, it was just a matter of me thinking that we needed to go in another direction. I needed to step aside, somebody else needs to come in. ... It just needs to go in another direction than what I'm taking it right now."

Kellick's tenure -- by far the longest for any South head coach -- was marked by many highs and lows. The Rebels had six winning seasons and finished .500 four times, but there also were seven seasons with two wins or fewer, including an 0-10 campaign in 1999.

But for Kellick, his greatest satisfaction came from teaching his players and making an impact on them outside of wins and losses.

"For me, the greatest accomplishment is a kid coming up to you at the end of the season and saying, 'Thanks, Coach,'" Kellick said. "That says you put in the work, you put in the effort and they appreciate it. They learned something, they're going to miss the game and they're going to miss you.

"And to me, all the wins in the world, all the championships and trophies, aren't going to hold a candle to that. That's the biggest thing."

South was expected to have a big season in 2009. The Rebels were to be the largest school in the MVAL Antietam Conference and had a number of players with starting experience returning to the roster.

They won their season opener against Berkeley Springs, then lost their next six -- five of them by at least 25 points. The Rebels surrendered 41 points or more five times this season.

"It's disappointing only in the fact that it was disappointing for the kids," Kellick said. "There was some talent there and we didn't achieve what we should have achieved."

Kellick said he hadn't discussed his decision with anyone -- including his wife -- before Friday's game. He said he realized during the third quarter of the game he needed to make the move right away rather than waiting weeks after the season had ended.

He said his hope for the remaining players and those yet to come -- as well as the South Hagerstown community -- is nothing but success.

"I wanted us to have a good year for the kids, I wanted us to have a good year for the community, because they need it and the school needs it bad, too," Kellick said. "I told the juniors, 'You want to do something for me? Go 10-0 next year.' ... I'll be the happiest person in the world."

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