MANATEE -- Jean P. Gordon was tired and needed a change.
It's why he resigned as Bayshore's head football coach on Monday.
Gordon, the county's fourth-longest tenured coach, told principal David Underhill of his plan on Friday.
The two kept things "close to the vest," Gordon said, over the weekend in order to let the players be the first ones to know Monday morning.
"I'm just tired, and I'm going to take this time off right now, and I'll see after a year if I want to revisit it," the 56-year-old Gordon said. "But I think I'm done. When the season was over, I kind of felt tired. I was ready for a change, and that was it."
Gordon's career has covered five decades, beginning in 1974 after he graduated from Clearwater High.
Aside from two years when he played in college, Gordon coached in some facet -- often three sports at a time.
The experience he gained culminated in his first head coaching job in 1994 at Gulfport Boca Ciega.
His time with the Buccaneers is still significant to this day as Gordon is the only coach in the program's histo
ry to win a playoff game. He won two postseason games when Boca Ciega earned a district title and runner-up in 2002 and '04.
That success led to his arrival at Bayshore, when he was hired to replace Raymond Woodie, who left for Palmetto High and is currently at Western Kentucky University, in 2006.
However, the Bruins did not make the playoffs during his tenure. The last time Bayshore qualified for postseason football was in 2005.
Nonetheless, Gordon enjoyed his time as the Bruins head football coach.
Gordon's career concluded with a 3-7 season in early November to cap a 25-44 career at Bayshore.
"The kids that were with him were better at the end of the season than at the beginning," athletic director Chris Brady said. "As a coach, that's what you were striving to do, to make your team better at the end than the beginning."
The Bruins haven't made the playoffs since 2005, Woodie's last season there.
Bayshore's finest season under Gordon came in 2011 when the Bruins won their final game of the year over Class 7A Sarasota to finish 5-5.
However, his ability to have a team full of players that did the right things in and out of the classroom is what Underhill noticed.
"Coach Gordon has been here for seven years, and has always held our student athletes' academic success and behavior to the highest standard," Underhill wrote in an emailed statement. "We hope that we can replace him with someone who has as much interest in the total students as he does. Coach Gordon does plan to stay here at BHS to continue helping us move our students in the right educational direction."
With Gordon's departure from his post, the attention will now shift toward finding Bayshore's next football coach.
The hiring process, though, won't be quick.
"Won't be till late January, early February, that we're looking specifically at candidates, in terms of interviews and narrowing down the candidates," Brady said.
Resigning before the winter vacation was important for Gordon to give Underhill and Brady plenty of time to find a replacement for a team returning several key players next season.
"David Underhill and Chris Brady," Gordon said, "are two of the best people I've ever worked for in my life, and I've been doing this a long time. I've had great administrators. Don't get me wrong. I haven't had any bad, I've had great administrators. But David and Chris are two of the best administrators that I've ever worked for. Chris as an AD and David as a principal. Very supportive that they were able to do for you, that you needed, they did, ... Obviously, I wanted to win David a district title or something like that, but that didn't work out. But what I really wanted to do was make sure that I left him in good shape. And we have a lot of seniors, a lot of kids coming back. All our skill guys. They were sophomores, they were juniors last year. And they started. And they will all be back next year."
John Lembo, Herald sports reporter, contributed to this report.