The Palo Alto High School football team is preparing to adapt to a new coaching situation, as its head coach’s resignation from his position was confirmed on Tuesday.
Head coach Jake Halas confirmed his resignation after two years in that position after taking over for long-time head coach Earl Hansen, largely because he wants to spend more time with his family.
“I did step down,” Halas said. “A variety of factors contributed to this, but the overriding factor was basically family. Just the chance to see the kids at home. I have three kids under six years old and that’s where I’m going to put my focus right now.”
According to Halas, the head coach position is open to anyone, and a committee to search for a new head coach is already on the hunt to fill his spot.
“It’s open to whoever [within qualification],” Halas said. “They [committee members] are actively searching. I’d be shocked if they don’t have a person in place by February. They have to get a head football coach sooner rather than later just because there’s so much stuff to do.”
Despite stepping down from coaching the football team, Halas will stay at Paly as a physical education teacher and a football supporter.
“I’m going to support in any way I can,” Halas said. “I’m going to continue teaching in the spot I’m in, but I’m not going to coach football or any other sport for the next couple of years. I’m going to coach my kids’ teams, as a matter of fact.”
Halas is still thinking about coaching in the future.
“I’m just going to reset,” Halas said. “I’m not done coaching, I have a lot of coaching left in me, but I have to back away for a while and reset.”
In the fall, the Vikings (5-7, 3-3) competed in the Central Coast Section playoffs through the semifinal round. Sophomore kicker Max Dorward was shocked by Halas’ resignation and recognizes the challenges this may pose for future seasons.
“I was pretty surprised he decided to resign because he did a great job with us this past season,” Dorward said. “It will be challenging for next season because we have to adapt to a new head coach. Whenever there’s a coaching change in sports, there are always changes [to the team] and that can be difficult for returning players.”