Coach Roger Robben had three kids—a freshman, an 8th grader and a 6th grader—who are active in their Wichita schools extracurricular activies.
But Robben, the coach of Augusta High School's football team, has felt that his kids have taken a backseat in his life, which he said was the primary reason for his departure from the team. Robben said he momentarily contemplated leaving a year ago before he decided to recommit himself to stay with the football program. But after this past season, he has decided enough was enough.
"I'm actually content with the decision and set on focusing on the future of my family," Robben said. "I'm pretty upset about leaving the kids in the program…but this was what I felt needed to be done."
Robben, who took over the football program four years ago, spoke to his team first about his decision earlier this week before officially resigning from his position Wednesday. He said it was difficult and he wanted to share his appreciation for the effort the players gave throughout the four years, including the seniors, who were his first group of players when he took over.
"I really appreciate those guys. I think they made a lot of improvement from their freshman to senior year," Robben said. "I know people sometimes look at wins and losses to determine success, but I'm looking at maturity….I know they made changes in their lives, and they'll be better men for it."
The Orioles never had much success—the team finished with four wins in four seasons—but two of those wins were this past season, and the Orioles were one or two plays away from possibly winning a couple other games.
Robben still plans to teach math and P.E. at AHS. He added that coaching again down the line is still a possibility.
"I'm not going to close the door on coaching. I'm just not in a good position in my life for that right now," Robben said.
AHS athletic director Doug Law said the position opening will be posted after Monday's school board meeting, at which point he'll take applications. Law said that the search will not be limited to just coaches with head-coaching experience, but will be open to assistants from other successful programs.
"I'm looking to fill the position outside of the current staff," Law said.
Law said that the new coach will have a say on whom he will bring aboard his staff, which may or man not include the current Oriole staff.
Law said it can be a challenge to hire a new coach if no new teaching positions are opened, so it might take some time. He noted, though, that previous Oriole coach Steve Pazzie still taught after he left the position prior to the hiring of Robben. Law wants to hire a coach who will have a presence in the classrooom.
Page 2 of 2 - "I think that it's critical to be involved with the kids," Law said.