In the past couple weeks I've talked to several people who expressed concern that there was some sort of deep underlying problem that prompted Ray Smith to resign his position as head football coach at Kingman High School.
They also felt that whatever the problem is that it also contributed to Joe Juelfs, Darrin Peppard and Greg Cummins quitting their positions as assistant football coaches as well.
I've checked into it and can say authoritatively that it is not the case.
Smith, Juelfs and Peppard all quit to spend more time with their families.
Cummins quit so he can complete college course work in the fall.
I wanted to check into it for a couple reasons.
One is that if it was the case it is a story and as a reporter it's my job to get it.
Two is that I just plain want to know the truth and as a reporter I'm in a position to find out the truth.
So, I've spoken to all of the coaches and Kingman athletics director Tim Casson.
I also spoke to a couple of individuals who are close to Kingman High School football, but not on the payroll of the school district.
The facts are that there are no underlying problems and there was no falling out between the coaches and the administration.
Smith was the football coach at Kingman for 18 years and is staying on at the school as a physical education instructor and head of the physical education fine arts department.
His reasons for leaving are very important to him: two sons, one 8 and the other 4.
He wants to spend more time with them and be a bigger part of their lives as they grow.
There is also a fatigue factor.
Smith has been involved in sports all of his life.
He's been coaching all of his adult life.
He said he feels a need for a break.
Juelfs has a similar reason.
He has two youngsters at home — one was born in April.
His wife, Kasie Juelfs, coaches volleyball in the fall and tennis in the spring.
Juelfs coached football and girls basketball.
Between the two of them they need someone to be able to be with the children each day, regardless of the sport season.
Juelfs also wants to concentrate on being the head coach of the girls varsity basketball team.
There is no ulterior motive.
Peppard's case is a little different.
He coached three sports last season.
He was an assistant in football, the junior varsity basketball coach and the head coach of the tennis team.
Since August of 2001 he's been going 10 to 24 hours a day.
I really don't know how he could do it.
Football is incredibly time consuming.
A teacher's day starts at about 7 a.m.
and a football coach's day ends late in the evening and goes seven days a week.
Peppard would frequently start his day at 7 in the morning and not be home until late at night or even, for road games, not until sometime after midnight when it was actually the next day.
And Sundays football coaches spend the day reviewing game films.
Quite honestly I don't know how it is the man is still able to walk and talk.
I'd be completely exhausted by now but, he's out there umpiring local league softball this summer.
The truth is he's just plain tired and needs a little more of a break next school year.
I can hardly blame him.
Cummins, who wasn't on the payroll, needs to complete some college credits to maintain his certification and keep his real job.
One of the things people need to understand is that coaching on the high school level is practically a volunteer job.
A first-year assistant is paid $1,880 a season.
A first-year head football coach makes $2,954.
On average these people work 30 to 40 hours a week on coaching.
The season starts in mid-August and runs until mid-November (if your team doesn't make the playoffs and have an extended season).
It comes out to about $30 a day to be a head coach for a football season.
An assistant makes about $20 a day.
These people aren't in it for the money.
They're in it for the love of the game and the chance to work with the kids.
But, sometimes it is hard to work your personal life out around being a coach.
That's when folks have to quit.
And that's exactly why some of the football coaches at Kingman High School have quit.
There is no other reason.
Ric Swats is the senior sports writer for the Miner.
He can be reached at 753-6397, extension 223 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org