MAHOMET — In what appears to be a surprise decision, Mahomet-Seymour football coach Keith Pogue is stepping aside following 11 years in charge of the program.
Bulldogs athletic director Matt Hensley said Friday "I don't have an answer" to whether or not Pogue's decision came as a shock to him, adding Pogue made administrators and assistants aware Thursday night that he was resigning.
Pogue could not be reached for comment on Friday. His choice was announced via a school press release Friday morning, which also indicated Pogue will continue his role as a social studies teacher at the high school.
"He's been stability for this program," Hensley said of Pogue. "He's been a guy that I think builds good, positive relationships with kids."
Pogue has been part of M-S football for the last 23 years, taking control of the squad beginning with the 2008 season. He finishes his time at the helm of the Bulldogs with a 72-39 ledger.
"He was an assistant here for a long time before he became a head coach," Hensley said, "and that was one of the factors that led us to make that decision 11 years ago."
The Bulldogs missed out on the playoffs this season, their 3-6 record the worst in Pogue's time as the program's head coach. Prior to that, however, M-S qualified for playoff action in nine of Pogue's first 10 seasons.
Arguably M-S' best run under Pogue came in 2013, when the Bulldogs earned a No. 2 seed in the Class 4A postseason before falling to third-seeded Rock Island Alleman in the second round.
Pogue is only the third football coach M-S has employed in the last 47 years, stretching back to the lengthy stints of Frank Dutton (1971-91) and Tom Shallenberger (1992-2007).
Friday's press release stated "a search for the (seventh) Head Football Coach at Mahomet-Seymour High School will begin in the next few weeks," a point Hensley confirmed later Friday afternoon. He said there weren't any immediate frontrunners for the role.
"We think we have a quality program," Hensley said. "We think we've got quality kids. We think we've got good facilities. It would be a job that would be appealing to folks who are looking for an opportunity."