Coach Willis May’s decision was affected by the Parkland school shooting that occured last year.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School head football coach Willis May has resigned, according to the Sun Sentinel.
May’s resignation comes a little over a year after a shooting at his school that left 17 people dead, including assistant football coach Aaron Feis and athletic director and wrestling coach Chris Hixon. Feis also worked as a security guard and shielded students when a former student opened fire at the school on Feb. 14.
“It’s been hard to come to work with everything that’s went on,” May told the Sentinel. “I miss Aaron Feis every day, and I miss Chris Hixon every day. It’s been really hard, and I just needed a change. I needed a change for my soul.
“I will always be grateful for the love and affection the community showed my family,” he added. “I will always wish nothing but the best for the whole community, Parkland, and definitely Marjory Stoneman Douglas. [I] want only the best for them.”
May told ESPN that he left Feis’ office and desk the same like it was before the shooting. Seeing Feis’ office, as well as a cemetary built on the school’s campus, makes it hard for May to be constantly reminded of the tragic incident and prompted his decision to leave.
“We’ve had a lot of friends and a lot of support in the Parkland community, but I just need a change,” he said. “I love football and I want it to be fun. I want to go to work every day and be excited, and right now I go to work every day and it’s miserable.”
May, 51, said it was hard to decide to leave, and he worried that it would send the wrong message to his players about quitting. But he believes they understand that he needed a change.
During six seasons as head coach, May led the Eagles to a 33–26 record. They finished last season 5–5 and missed out on the playoffs. Assistant Quentin Short will serve as interim coach.
May plans to move to take a new coaching job in Fort Myers, which will also allow him to live closer to his parents. He told ESPN that his new job has not been made official so he couldn’t discuss any details.
“One thing, if we’ve learned anything in the last year, you better love the ones you got because you don’t know how long you’re going to be here.”
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Original Article: https://www.si.com/more-sports/2019/03/13/marjory-stoneman-douglas-football-coach-resigns-willis-may-parkland-shooting