After five seasons, Damian Poalucci has resigned as head football coach at South Western High School.
Poalucci said he handed in his resignation Monday morning, which was confirmed by South Western athletic director Don Seidenstricker. Poalucci registered a 25-27 record in his five seasons at South Western, leading the Mustangs to the District 3 playoffs twice. He previously spent 14 seasons as a South Western assistant under Seidenstricker, who led the program for 25 years.
Poalucci said he didn't think about stepping down until very recently, adding that the move was completely his decision. He informed the team of his decision on Monday.
"There are things you're involved with in coaching that every coach deals with," Poalucci said. "You do the best you can to make everybody happy and put the kids first, and some people don't understand that.
"In the end, I had to make a decision to stay and go through certain situations or step aside and try something different. It was totally my decision, and I thank the South Western administration team for their support."
Seidenstricker said he wasn't able to elaborate on the situation but that he will miss working with Poalucci.
"Coach Poalucci has my full support, I will miss him personally," Seidenstricker said.
A former quarterback at East Stroudsburg University, Poalucci took over as South Western head coach in 2012 and made the District 3 Class 4A playoffs his first season with a 6-4 record. The Mustangs made the playoffs for the second time in his tenure last season but went just 4-6 in 2016. South Western won 13 Division I titles during Seidenstricker's tenure as head coach.
YAIAA football coaches spent all season communicating with their players, in many different ways. Watch just a few. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Poalucci said that telling his players he was stepping down was one of the hardest conversation he's ever had. He plans to stay at the school as a health and physical education teacher.
"My biggest thing to them was that this decision was not about them, if anything it was made harder by them," Poalucci said. "I'm still going to be there for them, it'll just be in a different role. I'll still be at games on Fridays next year. I just won't be the football coach."
Poalucci said he expects to coach again eventually, but not this upcoming season. He's looking forward to spending more time with his family and watching his son, a seventh grader, play youth football.
"My heart will always be with South Western," he said. "I'll take a year off and see what develops. I love being around the game but it's not the right time or the best time right now."