CONCORD -- Bringing to a close the greatest era in the history of high school football, Bob Ladouceur announced Friday his decision to step down as coach De La Salle's coach.
With 399 wins, 20 unbeaten seasons and countless championships in 34 seasons, Ladouceur is calling it quits as the head man at the program he built into a national power.
School principal Robert Wickman made the official announcement regarding Ladouceur, and also said that assistant Justin Alumbaugh is taking over as the Spartans' head coach.
"I would still be coaching if I didn't feel like we had the perfect guy to take over," Ladouceur said of Alumbaugh. "I didn't want to see him leave or get frustrated. I owed it to him.
"It was more important for me for the program to remain strong than for me to hang on a couple more years. I didn't think it was fair to him to be doing most of the work and not be a head coach."
Ladouceur said he made the decision to retire before the 2012 season began, but didn't tell anyone. Before the Spartans' CIF Open Division state championship game against Centennial-Corona on Dec. 15, however, Ladouceur informed the De La Salle coaching staff he would be stepping down.
"I didn't want to make it a cheesy motivation thing for our team this year," said Ladouceur, who added he coached one more season than he originally planned. "I didn't want to make (my last year) be a precursor to what these guys were going to do. I've always approached it that way, I want their seasons to be their own."
Ladouceur, 58, is best known for guiding the Spartans on a national record 151-game winning streak from 1992-2003. His teams have won 28 North Coast Section championships, five CIF state championships (since 2006) and have finished No. 1 in various national rankings at least seven times.
He leaves with an overall record of 399-25-3.
"It just hasn't been something I've chased," Ladouceur said of reaching 400 wins. "To stay on to try to reach 400 wins I thought would be kind of a lame thing to do... What difference does one more win make?
"I understand the number (400) has some kind of weirdness to it. Maybe way down the road they'll think I died midseason."
De La Salle recently wrapped up a 15-0 season in December with its fourth consecutive Open Division state championship.
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