Sports

Hodson not returning for 11th season as football coach

Falcon coach Mark Hodson walks out with the team during last season’s home game against Cedarcrest. The 10-year SWHS coach has stepped down from his leadership role with the football team. - Jeff VanDerford / Record file
Falcon coach Mark Hodson walks out with the team during last season’s home game against Cedarcrest. The 10-year SWHS coach has stepped down from his leadership role with the football team.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / Record file

Mark Hodson will not coach Falcons football after 10 years as a teacher and coach at South Whidbey High School.

“I have really strong feelings that the head football coach needs to be a teacher in the building,” Hodson said. “I think that’s something that needs to be a priority for any school.”

“And I’m not teaching in the school this year,” Hodson explained.

After being laid off in July as part of the district-wide reductions, Hodson chose to step down from the coaching post. Principal Rod Merrell confirmed that Hodson chose to not coach, as opposed to resigning or being fired.

“There were across-the-board reductions to stipends for athletics and activities of about 11 percent,” Merrell said.

Hodson and Andy Davis were co-head coaches the past few seasons, in what Hodson referred to as a “two-headed monster.”

“I kept getting RIFed, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to return as a coach or teacher,” Hodson said. “If I didn’t return, they could just go seamlessly into the same system.”

Davis is now the sole head coach for Falcons football.

“I don’t think there is going to be a transition at all,” Hodson said. “That’s what was nice about Andy and me saying, ‘Hey, let’s be co-head coaches.’”

“It just kind of flows,” Hodson added. “It was seamless.”

Hodson will teach social studies at Bayview School and also run some online classes at about half-time employment within the school district.

According to Merrell, Hodson is part of the employment pool to fill openings based on seniority and endorsements.

“He’s at what we call .587 employment,” Merrell said.

Hodson, the Cascade Conference “Coach-of-the-Year” in 2007, said he is unsure of his coaching future and is choosing to focus his attention elsewhere.

“I am looking for a full-time teaching position,” Hodson said.

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