FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie football coach Whit Parks was excited about the direction of the team heading into 2018, but he found out in recent weeks others involved in the program didn’t have the same sentiment.
As a result, he announced his resignation on Wednesday after three years at the program’s helm.
Parks said Fort Loramie’s athletic department conducted an online survey in November that asked players and community members for anonymous input about the direction of the program. School administrators recently shared the results of the survey with Parks, and he said he was surprised by the input.
“I really had no intentions of resigning after this season,” Parks said. “… But it was pretty apparent from that survey and the comments that were made that they really don’t want our program there anymore. So I thought it was best that I move on.”
Parks said Fort Loramie’s administration told him he had their full support even in light of the survey results, but he felt it was better to resign.
“One of the things that was a common thread in the surveys was that (the respondents) didn’t feel that our program could take them to the next level,” Parks said. “I guess that’s what came out a lot. …It was evident that there’s a large group that doesn’t want our program.”
Fort Loramie finished last season 8-3 and advanced to the playoffs for the second time in Parks’ tenure. The Redskins started the season 2-2 but rattled off six consecutive wins in Cross County Conference play before losing to eventual state champion Minster 40-24 in an opening round playoff game.
Fort Loramie lost one CCC game in regular season (27-26 to Miami East) and also lost to Minster 20-0 in a Week 1 nonconference game.
After winning the last six regular season games, Parks said he felt the program was moving in the right direction.
“As a coaching staff, we felt that,” Parks said. “But I guess not everybody else does.”
Fort Loramie went 19-13 in Parks’ three seasons and made the playoffs twice.
Parks took the job in 2015 after the resignation of former coach Matt Burgbacher, who left Fort Loramie for Troy.
Parks has a career coaching record of 213-158-3. He started his coaching career in 1975 and has coached at Zanesville, Marysville and Minster among other schools.
Parks said he may coach again but is going to take some time off at the current moment.
Fort Loramie athletic director Damon Smith thanked Parks for his service over the last three years in a statement released by the school.
“He was passionate about the game of football and driven to develop young men of character and integrity,” Smith said. “We now look for a head coach to build upon the solid foundation that Coach Parks and others have helped establish here at Loramie.”
Smith said the position has been posted on the OHSAA website and other state and local job sites.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.