Burnet High School head football coach Jerod Rye announced May 5 that he is stepping down from that position but will continue to teach at Burnet Consolidated Independent School District.
The Bulldogs went 10-10 overall, 3-6 in district, and 0-1 in the playoffs under his two years as head coach. Prior to that, he served as the Bulldogs offensive coordinator.
Rye cited family time as his reason for leaving the job.
Last season, Rye’s wife, Stephanie, was in the football stadium watching her husband and their son, senior Cade Rye, on the gridiron. But Cade is graduating this year, and next year, Stephanie plans to watch the couple’s daughter, Lainey, play volleyball.
Volleyball season falls in line with high school football. Rye has already missed many of Lainey’s matches, and he didn’t want to miss any more.
Also, Rye said, if he stayed on as coach, he wouldn’t be able to help Cade move into Texas A&M University in August or attend the Aggies’ family day because both happen during football season.
“That’s time I can’t get back,” he said. “A few years ago, we went to a coaches outreach convention in Kerrville where they said coaching isn’t a profession, it’s a mission. If your whole family isn’t in on it, it’ll never work.”
Stephanie, Cade, and Lainey, he said, have been in on it from the beginning. But if he stayed in football, when he looked up in the bleachers this coming season, he wouldn’t see any of them. Rye is content to leave the gridiron sideline and take a seat next to his wife in the gym stands to watch their daughter play volleyball.
Rye said he prayed and wrestled with the decision for several months before announcing it to the coaching staff and players May 5. As difficult as it was to tell the assistant coaches, he said it was much harder to tell his players, some of whom he has known for seven years when athletics director Kurt Jones hired him as the Burnet Middle School athletics coordinator and then as the Bulldogs offensive coordinator.
Jones said Rye resigning was “100 percent his decision to do that.”
“There was absolutely no conflict,” Jones said. “It was time for him to make that decision to spend time with his family. Cade is graduating and heading to College Station, and Lainey plays volleyball, soccer, and tennis. He’s missed a lot of her events, especially in volleyball.
“You have to be happy for them and be supportive of that,” he added.
Jones will conduct a statewide search for the next head football coach. A half-hour after posting the job, he said he already received a resume.
“We’ll start the search immediately to find another person who cares about the kids as individuals and their families and the team and wants them to be better men,” he said. “Jerod Rye did some really good things here. You know his personality and how he connects with kids. I was never disappointed in the job coach Rye did at all.”