Three high-profile prep coaching positions are now open after area coaches announced their departures.
Travis Taylor, Windsor High’s basketball coach the past six seasons, on Wednesday told his team that he would not be returning. Taylor, who went 106-58 since starting with the Jaguars in 2012-13, led his team to a 23-6 overall record and won the NBL title.
“There is absolutely no controversy, ” he said. “I’m just simply taking a year off.”
Taylor, 36, has five children under the age of 10. He said he will continue to re-evaluate his coaching future after taking a break.
“I’ve never not done it. It’s in my soul,” he said. “It’s not retirement.”
Taylor is perhaps the highest-profile departure from the Windsor athletic department, but he’s not the only one. Boys soccer coach Andres Flores will not return next season, according to athletic director Jeff Hardie.
Flores led the Jags to a 7-10-2 overall record this season and a 5-8-1 run in league play. The Jags went 11-2-1 in a tough North Bay League last year to finish second.
Also leaving is first-year Montgomery High football coach Tony Keefer.
Keefer, a two-time All-American at Santa Rosa Junior College who prepped at Cardinal Newman, drew attention to a struggling Vikings program after putting together what was regarded as an all-star coaching staff, including former JC head coach and offensive guru Keith Simons, former Casa Grande and new St. Vincent de Paul coach Trent Herzog and former NFL player Brad Muster.
The Vikings went 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the NBL in a season shortened by the deadly wildfires. The Vikings were ousted in the first round of the Div. 2 North Coast Section playoffs by league foe Casa Grande.
It was a job change away from a family-run business, and not Montgomery football, that prompted the decision, Keefer said.
“Unfortunately, I had to leave and go to a new job. It wasn’t allowing me the time to coach,” he said. “I had to step down. I thought I could carve out enough time to do it. It just became clear it wasn’t going to happen.”
Keefer said he told Montgomery athletic director Dean Haskins on April 3 that he wasn’t returning. Keefer met with players on Monday, April 9.
You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or email@example.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud, “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”