In 20 seasons as a high school football head coach, Bruce Schlaich compiled an overall record of 152-53.
Thats a winning percentage of nearly 75 percent.
And in the past 12 years as Fruitland Highs coach, Schlaich won 110 of 133 games, including two state championships. His teams made seven consecutive appearances in the state title game.
But numbers werent on Schlaichs mind when he announced his resignation Monday after 35 years of roaming the sidelines as an assistant and head coach in Idaho and California.
Hed much rather be remembered for the positive influence he had on the many students-athletes who suited up for him on Friday nights.
Its more than just football to Bruce, Fruitland Athletic Director Beth Holt said. Its about life. When they leave his program, he just wants them to be the best young men they can be.
During his time as a head coach, Schlaichs teams won 11 league championships and state titles in 1996 (Parma), 2006 (Fruitland) and 2010 (Fruitland). Eight teams played in title games.
This year, his program also produced two Boise State recruits: linebacker Joe Martarano and tight end Alec Dhaenens.
He made sure that we all knew right off the bat, even as a freshman, that for anything, even if it is not football related, if you have problems at home or anything, he is always there for you, said former fullback/linebacker Jordan Martin. That was pretty cool. We felt really comfortable with him.
Added former center/linebacker Justin Wallace: He believed in me, and at that time I really didnt believe in myself. He was there with me, pushing me, and he is the reason that I ended up working hard enough to start over a senior my sophomore year. He had a very positive impact on me while I was at Fruitland.
Schlaich began his coaching career at his alma mater Mount Miguel (Calif.) where he served as a defensive coordinator for 10 years under Gary Cooper.
I would not be where I am today without (Coopers) trust, belief in me and encouragement, Schlaich said. I will forever be grateful to him.
After a one-year stop as an assistant at Grace High, Schlaich was hired as the head coach at Parma. Following eight years at Parma, Schlaich took over as head coach at Fruitland.
I think that 35 years has been a pretty good run. This isnt a knee jerk reaction to anything that happened in the last few weeks, its been well-thought out, Schlaich said. Sometimes you get to a point where you feel like youve done all you can at a school and I kind of feel like the program is where it needs to be and its going to be successful for a long time. In some ways, mission accomplished.
Schlaich said he will continue to teach physical education at Fruitland.
Holt said the search for Schlaichs replacement will begin soon.
Hell be tough to replace, Holt said.
For those who have coached against Schlaich over the years, Mondays news is bittersweet.
As good as his program is and as much success as theyve had, hes just as good a person. He will be sorely missed in football throughout the Valley, Weiser coach John Srholec Jr. said.
He does a great job and youre always going to face a heck of a football team thats prepared and has a great battle plan. Hes a first-rate person after the game and before the game, and in wins and in losses.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX