Mike Virden knows it might sound crazy, but he said stepping down as the Meridian High football coach after one season is the best move for the program.
Virden announced his resignation from his second stint at Meridian on Monday after leading the Warriors to a 3-7 record, including 3-6 in the 5A SIC. He also went 28-15 and led Meridian to the playoffs three times in four years from 2003-06, and won the 2005 5A state title.
“The long-term effect is extremely positive, but the short term is muddy,” Virden said. “What we did this year at Meridian and where we’re at, it’s going to be a great opportunity for someone to come in and take the reins of this program.”
Virden sold his business, Mike Virden Auto & RV Sales, in August, and then helped the new owners with the transition. With that wrapping up, he’d like to pursue new business opportunities, ones that would require travel and too much time away from the Warriors.
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“I’m just not going to be able to spend the quality time required to take these guys where they need to go,” Virden said.
Meridian has long struggled on the football field. It hasn’t posted a winning season since 2011 and it last won a playoff game in 2007. But the 50-year-old former Boise State quarterback led a youth movement this fall, one that should benefit the next coach. The Warriors head into the offseason with 17 starters scheduled to return, including six who earned a spot on the 5A SIC all-conference team.
“The kids are in healthy mindset, in terms of the work required to be a healthy 5A program,” Virden said. “The leadership is dialed in and the boosters are great. As crazy as it sounds being one and done, the program is on a lot better footing today.”