Southeast High football coach Rashad West resigned Thursday after two years to pursue other opportunities, according to a Manatee School District news release.
The move came after the Seminoles had to forfeit six games for using an academically ineligible player, ending their playoff hopes.
Also this season, six Southeast players were suspended for four weeks after a postgame fight broke out following an Oct. 20 game against Wauchula Hardee.
“We wish Rashad West tremendous success in all of his future endeavors,” Southeast principal Rosa Faison said in the release.
Southeast athletic director Joe Collis will begin the search for a new coach immediately.
West declined comment.
“He handed a letter to our principal that he said he was respectfully resigning his position as head football coach at Southeast High School,” Collis told the Bradenton Herald.
Collis said the administration thanks West for his time at Southeast and wishes him nothing but the best.
Southeast’s promising season, which began with a 5-0 start, started unraveling with a loss to Hardee that saw the postgame fight result in six players being suspended for four weeks, the program being put on probation and a $1,650 fine levied by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
The late discovery of an academically ineligible player with the team aiming for a playoff berth cost the team six games, a postseason spot and wrapped up West’s second year with a 2-6 mark.
“Anything we can do to help him in the future, we will,” Collis said.
Faison did not immediately return a phone message from the Herald.
Collis, who took over as the program’s athletic director in late October, is the school’s third AD in six months.
Allie Turley was Southeast’s AD to begin the year, taking over for Daniel Bradshaw, who left over the summer.
Now the search begins for the next head football coach at Southeast, a program with a tradition that Paul Maecthle built into a local and state power with two state championships in the 1990s.
Collis said the goal is to have a new head coach in place before spring football.
“We are not in a rush. Time is definitely on our side,” Collis said. “And that’s a good thing. Absolutely, we’ll take our time on this. Don’t expect to see anything in the next couple weeks.”