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Dan Bourdon steps down as Analy High School football coach

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BOURDON AT ANALY

Year All SCL

2008 5-6 1-4

2009 7-5 2-4

2010 5-6 2-4

2011 6-5 3-3

2012 12-1 6-0

2013 11-2 6-0

2014 11-2 6-0

2015 13-1 6-0

2016 11-2 6-0

The football coaches of the Sonoma County League haven’t beaten Daniel Bourdon in more than five years. And they won’t be exacting their revenge anytime soon.

Bourdon is stepping down after nine years to spend more time with his wife, Cynthia, and their 9-month-old boy.

“Right now I feel like the best thing is to invest some time in my family,” Bourdon said Monday, the day he presented Analy athletic director Joe Ellwood with his resignation letter. “It’s the decision I’m least likely to regret. I can always go back and coach. But, man, these kids seem to grow up so fast.”

Ellwood confirmed that the decision was purely Bourdon’s.

Bourdon had been considering the move since the end of football season, which concluded with a loss by the Tigers in a North Coast Section Division 3 semifinal game.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve made in a long time,” he said. “Football is something I’m so passionate about. It’s kind of what my life revolved around, what my social circle revolved around. But I think I’ll look back and be grateful I was wise enough at this time to do it.”

Bourdon said he called a team meeting to inform his players. The words did not come easy.

“It was a tough conversation,” Bourdon said. “They were real supportive. I’m not an emotional guy, but it was pretty emotional.”

Ellwood said the school will formally open up the position sometime this week. Bourdon acknowledged there would probably be some interest among his former assistants, but neither man was comfortable naming any names.

Only 35, Bourdon leaves behind a strong legacy at Analy. In nine seasons as varsity head coach there, he manufactured an overall record of 81-30, and a 38-16 mark in league play. When Casa Grande and Windsor moved from the SCL to the North Bay League in 2012, it ushered in an era of dominance for the Tigers. They haven’t lost a league game since, a streak of 32 contests when you include two victories at the end of 2011.

And Analy’s recent excellence has not been limited to beating up on SCL opponents. Over the past three years, Bourdon loaded up the Tigers’ preseason schedule with NBL teams. They were 8-1 in those games, losing only to Cardinal Newman — a squad that would go on to win an NCS championship — last fall.

After losing his first two postseason games in 2010 and 2011, Bourdon led the Tigers to an 11-5 record in the NCS brackets over the past five years, making it as far as the semifinals each time. In 2015 they advanced to the Division 3 title game before falling to Campolindo, California’s eventual IV-AA champion.

“Dan has definitely put Analy football on the map,” Ellwood said. “For a long time Analy wasn’t looked at as a football school. Our program has gained great recognition and success because of Dan’s ability to motivate students.”

Bourdon admits he has surrounded himself with top-tier assistant coaches at Analy, particularly offensive coordinator Keith Simons. But much of the Tigers’ recent success can be traced to Bourdon’s charisma and upbeat intensity.

“It was every week,” former All-Empire Offensive Player of the Year Ja’Narrick James told The Press Democrat in 2015. “From Thursday night at the team dinner, he’d start getting fired up there, and he wouldn’t cool down until Saturday morning when we were watching film. You see him at school on Friday and he’s got this big grin on his face. He’s smiling, bouncing on his toes. That’s the kind of guy he was.”

Bourdon has deep roots in Analy football. He played quarterback there in the late 1990s, before going on to play at SRJC and West Virginia Tech. Bourdon returned to Analy as a varsity assistant at the age of 21, was JV head coach for a couple years, then served as varsity offensive coordinator before taking over the program in 2008.

He will continue to teach PE at the school, and he hasn’t ruled out some position with the football team next fall. The problem was the administrative duties that make coaching high school football a year-round job. It was time to give those up.

Ellwood has a feeling Bourdon isn’t gone for good as varsity head coach.

“Coming from a coaching background myself, I know Dan will never truly walk away from coaching,” the AD said. “I look at this as a hiatus. Let’s call it a sabbatical.”

BOURDON AT ANALY

Year All SCL

2008 5-6 1-4

2009 7-5 2-4

2010 5-6 2-4

2011 6-5 3-3

2012 12-1 6-0

2013 11-2 6-0

2014 11-2 6-0

2015 13-1 6-0

2016 11-2 6-0

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