Casey Quinn has resigned as football coach at Central High for personal reasons, closing a four-year run mixed with highs and lows, and creating a vacancy that's sure to draw considerable interest.
"This decision was made because of personal things I need to work on to get ready for a new challenge and chapter in my football career," he said Wednesday. "This is not a reflection of the kids, community, school district and their direction."
Quinn went 24-20, with a 12-15 mark in the Tri-River Athletic Conference.
The Grizzlies were 23-11 in the past three seasons, including 11-4 in the TRAC -- their most successful stretch in the league's 16-year history.
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A TRAC co-title this season with Clovis was the Grizzlies' first piece of the league championship in 10 years.
But Quinn, a former Clovis West assistant, found consistency to be a challenge.
- In 2009, a 24-3 road pounding of perennial power Clovis West was followed soon after by 56-20 and 27-21 losses to Bakersfield and Liberty-Bakersfield to finish the season.
The shutout occurred in the quarterfinals of the Division I playoffs, capping an 8-3 season.
"Casey's done some tremendous things with this program, and we're very grateful for them," Central Unified District athletic director James Gambrell said. "On the same end, we're excited about exploring new possibilities, and we're going to open up the job to the state and nation to find a coach to take us to a new level."
Central may not have to look far.
Among possible local candidates is Tim Murphy. He recently resigned at Clovis East, where he delivered two section championships and six TRAC titles in the past 10 years.
Murphy was Central's choice four years ago, but withdrew from consideration at the 11th hour out of concern the district would split into two schools.
A weak economy stalled those plans.
Consequently, the Grizzlies, with nearly 4,000 students, have easily the Central Section's largest enrollment. Central also has a modern stadium, with artificial surface, and, in the TRAC, plays in one of the state's finest leagues in terms of all-around athletic excellence.
"This is the marquee job in the Valley," Gambrell said. "Between facilities, resources, administrative support and, obviously, talent, the sky's the limit for Central football."
He declined comment on the possibility of pursuing Murphy a second time. And Murphy, contacted in Salt Lake City, said he wasn't aware of Quinn's resignation and wasn't prepared to comment.
Among other hot local possibilities are Justin Garza, who has elevated Sunnyside's program, and Beto Mejia, who went 12-0 with a D-VI title in his first season with Mendota's varsity after going 29-1 in the previous three years with the school's junior varsity.