EAST PALESTINE - After being forced to sit out East Palestine's last football game, Gare Mattes said he could no longer be effective as the head coach.
His letter of resignation was accepted by the East Palestine Board of Education with no discussion on Monday night.
"Your decision to have me stand down for the last week of practice and the last game of the season has been a source of great personal embarrassment for me and my family, and has compromised my future effectiveness as the head coach," Mattes said in his resignation letter dated Oct. 30.
Mattes said it was Superintendent George Fisk's decision that he stand down.
When asked if Mattes was targeted for being fired, Fisk offered no comment, only saying, "He had one more year. He chose to resign. I'll let his resignation letter speak for itself."
Mattes was first hired by the board three years ago and given a two-year contract. He was awarded another two-year contract last year and was finishing up the first year of that contract prior to the resignation. His current salary was roughly $5,080 a year.
The Bulldogs were 7-23 in Mattes' three seasons as head coach, including consecutive 2-8 campaigns.
He was relieved of his duties the last week of the season. Defensive coordinator Dave Rankin served as interim head coach and guided the Bulldogs to a 20-12 win at Lisbon on Oct 26.
Mattes came under fire after Crestview defeated the Bulldogs 63-0 on Oct. 19 at Reid Stadium. With the Rebels up 56-0 at the half, the third and fourth quarters were shortened to six minutes each after a halftime meeting with officials and coaches from both schools. Some fans loudly criticized the coach and called for his resignation as he left the field following that game.
When contacted Monday, Mattes said everything he wanted to say was in the letter.
Mattes, the 1988 Associated Press Ohio Division I Coach of the Year, has a career head coaching record of 113-110-3, including 16 seasons at Stow-Munroe Falls, three seasons at Hampton Township (Pa.) and one season at Maricopa (Ariz.). He also was an assistant at Robert Morris University for two seasons.
"I thank the Board of Education for the opportunity you have given me and I wish success for the football program," Mattes said in the letter.
The new coach will take over an East Palestine program that has had one winning season in the past 10 years. That came in 2009, the year before Mattes was hired. That also is the only time in seven years in the Inter-Tri County League upper tier the Bulldogs have had a winning league record.
A retired teacher from another district, Mattes had also served as substitute teacher in East Palestine.