By Jeff Odom
Wesley Chapel football coach Ben Alford will resign his position next month to take a director position in Iowa, he confirmed to The Laker/Lutz News Nov. 18.
Alford, who took over for longtime coach John Castelamare — now coaching for Academy at the Lakes — in 2009, was also a physical education instructor for the adaptive program at Wesley Chapel.
He said it was a difficult decision to leave the program, but had to do what’s best for his family.
“It’s been a good experience watching the program grow the last three years,” Alford said. “We had a bit of a down year this year, but it doesn’t take away from what we’ve done and built. It’s tough for me to leave, but I had to make the best choice for me and my family.”
Alford’s winningest team at Wesley Chapel was 2011 when his squad went 6-4, the first winning season for the program in seven years. Of that team’s 19 graduating seniors, nine signed to play in college.
“That’s what I came here to do, to coach and help out a kid,” Alford said. “A lot of coaches really focus in on the wins and losses, but I didn’t. I wanted my kids to get good grades in high school and have an opportunity to go to college. And yeah, I had nine go, but I also had 15 of my kids that could have went to college. … It’s something I take pride in that I could help those young men get to the next level.”
Officially, Alford’s final day with the school is Dec. 21. Once that process is completed, athletic director Mike Rogers said he plans an extensive search for the program’s next leader.
Alford was 12-18 during his three years at the helm, including 3-7 this season.
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