Shannon Pulliam, whose otherwise dominant career as Lemoore High’s football coach was blemished with a suspension before last season’s Central Section Division II championship, has resigned.
This comes two months after he was placed on administrative leave as a coach – not as a physical education teacher – while being investigated by school officials for allegedly promoting a post-practice fight among teammates with hazing.
Pulliam said the incident “definitely” influenced his decision to step down, but was not the “ultimate” reason. He denies being involved in hazing, but said he does regret making a comment to the team following a practice that preceded the fight soon after outside of the locker room and out of his view.
He also said the resignation did not come under administrative pressure.
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Pulliam, 51, lives in Clovis and has children ages 15, 7 and 5 attending Clovis Unified schools.
Getting to my age, I need to be around my kids and family more. Taking the pressure off being a head coach and, instead, being an assistant is where I need to be.
“Getting to my age, I need to be around my kids and family more,” he said. “Taking the pressure off being a head coach and, instead, being an assistant is where I need to be.”
He said he’d prefer to assist in Clovis or Fresno, and that he’s been in contact with several coaches in the area.
“I’m not saying I’ll never be a head coach again if the right situation presents itself, but now I’m not actively pursuing a head coaching job. Right now I just want to step back from that part of it and spend more time with the family. And being closer to home would help that.”
Pulliam, in four years at Lemoore, went 35-13 overall and 20-4 with three titles in the West Yosemite League. The Tigers went 6-0 in the league the past two seasons while beating Hanford twice – the Bullpups’ only losses in a 26-2 run, featuring consecutive D-III championships and this season’s CIF State Division IV-AA crown.
Lemoore went 21-4 the past two years, including a 10-3 mark last season, which closed with a 45-19 loss at Ridgeview in the D-II final. Pulliam watched from the bleachers.
He coached six seasons at Sunnyside and two at Sierra before taking over at Lemoore.