Meridian High football coach Porter Lacey has resigned after leading the Warriors to four playoff appearances in five seasons.
The Warriors went 19-30 under Lacey. But Lacey also led Meridian to a 15-14 record in its pod or conference schedule to reach the playoffs each of the past four years.
The 35-year-old said he stepped down for family reasons.
“We went through some hard times,” Lacey said. “My mom passed away. I felt like it was the right time for my family just to take a break for a little bit.”
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Lacey also led New Plymouth to a 26-16 record and the 2A playoffs in each of his four seasons as the Pilgrims’ head coach. In his nine-year career, he’s gone 45-46 and only missed the playoffs once, his first season at Meridian.
Lacey inherited a Warriors program that went 1-8 and couldn’t field a JV team in 2012. Since then, he went 3-6 in his first year, then 4-6 the next four years to reach the 5A playoffs every year since the field expanded to 12 teams.
The Warriors lost in the first round each time and haven’t won a playoff game since winning the 2007 state championship.
“I think the program is in great shape,” Lacey said. “I look at wins and losses, and I know 4-6 isn’t considered great. But anybody who has an understanding of the demographics of the situation knows 4-6 isn’t horrible at all.
“But I don’t really care about that. The thing I look at is the program growth, the participation by kids, the morale and the money coming in. All those things have gotten better.”
Lacey said nearly 120 players turned out for the program this fall.
He will remain a physical education and weightlifting teacher at Meridian. He said he might look into an administrative career and hasn’t ruled out returning to coaching someday.
“I just needed to take some time away and take care of things on the homefront,” he said.