PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg Catholic High School's Danny Tennant, the dean of Little Kanawha Conference football coaches, has retired from coaching, announcing his decision at the Crusaders' 2010 football banquet Tuesday night.
Tennant, who will turn 52 in two weeks, served as the head football coach at PCHS - his alma mater - for 27 years, compiling a 197-101 record and, through the just-completed season, guiding the Crusaders to 16 Class A state playoff berths in the last 17 years.
He will remain at the Fairview Avenue school as both athletic director and a teacher. Tennant also was previously Catholic's head baseball coach for 22 years, retiring after the 2006 season.
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Parkersburg Catholic head football coach Danny Tennant is retiring from coaching. Tennant will remain at the school as a teacher and athletic director.
''I still have three daughters who are students here, so I am still committed to Parkersburg Catholic - I just won't be coaching football,'' said Tennant on Wednesday.
On his decision, ''I've been thinking about this for quite a few years now, but just never really felt in my heart that it was time to go,'' said Tennant. ''In the past year though, I finally felt it was time to hang it up and let somebody else have the reins here.''
Thanksgiving Day last week was D-Day for Tennant. ''I made up my mind that day, deciding it was the right thing to do,'' he said.
''My wife and kids knew before the banquet, but none of the players or anybody here associated with the school knew about it until last night.''
Reflecting on his coaching career, Tennant said, ''I've made a lot of great friends and enjoyed a lot of great memories coaching young men. I hope I made a difference in their lives, I know they did in mine. I know I'm going to miss it, you just can't stop cold turkey after 27 years. But it's the right thing to do, I think, to step aside and move on.''
Tennant, a Parkersburg native, played football at PCHS, then went to Marshall and played there before returning to Catholic to teach and coach. ''When I had the opportunity to come back here, I jumped at it and it's been great,'' said Tennant. ''It's a dream job - for me anyway. It was too good of a job to be giving up - I think that's why I stuck with the coaching football end of it for 27 years. But now that part of it is over.''
Tennnat too stressed having no intention to coach again. ''I'm not looking to go anywhere else and coach,'' he stated.
Tennant is known statewide for his wherewithall to do the most with less than almost anyone, turning traditionally-small football squads numbering in the 20s at Catholic into playoff-bound teams. ''That's more a big reflection on the kind of kids we have here,'' said Tennant. ''Their ability to adapt and learn different positions, and have that attitude that 'I'm not a prima donna, I'm gonna do what the team needs me to do' is the only way that we would have been able to not only survive, but also be successful with our low numbers.''
Tennant, as AD, will be involved in choosing his successor, but of course the process hasn't even started yet. ''I'm just speculating, but I hope we have somebody named by late January, early February,'' said Tennant. ''That's just a tentative timeline though.''
''You know,'' said Tennant, ''I spent the last 40, 45 years in football. I'd go to grade school, then go to football; go to high school, then go to football; go to college, then go to football; come back here and was teaching, then go out and practice football. So it's going to be a routine that's hard to break.''