MARIETTA -For the first time in seven years there will be a new face at the helm of the Marietta Tigers boys basketball team next season as J.D. Secrest has announced his resignation.
Marietta High School, along with the Marietta Board of Education, announced the resignation in a press release on Monday.
"I just felt it was time. The stress started to weigh on me a little bit and I actually thought about this at the end of last season," said Secrest, who took over as head coach prior to the 2006-2007 season. "It has turned into a year-round job and I just felt it was the right time to sit back and kind of recharge my batteries for awhile."
This year proved to be quite a struggle for Secrest and the Tigers. After losing to graduation almost all of their offensive fire power from the prior year, MHS finished with a 7-16 record.
"I didn't want to leave at the same time that all of those kids did," said Secrest about his decision to return this year after losing the likes of Tim Grosel, Eli Lenington and Nathan Williams among others to graduation. "I didn't want to leave the cupboard bare for whoever comes in after me."
Secrest, who replaced Ron Warner as Tiger head coach seven seasons ago after six seasons as an assistant coach on several levels at MHS, named several highlights in his tenure as the head of the orange and black.
"We won a pair of sectionals, made it to the district finals, had an undefeated home season, and got to play at the Convo (Ohio University Convocation Center), said Secrest, a 1988 graduate of Caldwell High School and a 1993 grad of Ohio State University. "We also had a pair of Academic All-Ohio players in Tim Grosel and Evan Brockmeier."
Secrest will remain a teacher at Marietta High School and is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Michelle and their two daughters, Skyler and Laken this fall, something he has not had the luxury of for the past several years.
"I just plan to take a year or two off and maybe find something else to do," said Secrest, not ruling out a return to the coaching ranks at some point down the line. "Maybe I'll miss it and maybe I won't. I will just have to wait and see."
Secrest feels that his successor will take over a team that has the ability to become much more competitive in the near future.
"I told the kids that the talent is there for them to become successful," said Secrest of the Tiger players who will return next year. "They just need to put in the work."
The press release stated that the search for a successor would begin immediately.