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Family, religion prompt Maynard resignation
Coach also cites fatigue after serving four years as BHS head football coach

Saying he needs to start attending church regularly instead of worrying about the next opponent or a defensive scheme — while finding more time to spend with his two sons — Paul Maynard, Bearden High School varsity head football coach, stepped down early last week after four seasons. It also ends a 17-year coaching run in Bulldog burgundy.

“Spend more time with my boys,” the 47-year-old coach said of Jordan, a BHS senior and standout defensive end/tight end on the Bulldog football team, and Logan, a sophomore deep-snapper. “I want to try, especially before my senior [Jordan] goes off to [college], to be able to spend some time with him.”

Despite a 13-29 overall record, Maynard did lead the Bulldogs to a pair of Class 5A playoff appearances. But the job took up lots of time.

“You know, whenever I get to the point I’m spending six, seven hours on Saturdays, and spending eight, ten hours on Sundays and not going to church, there’s problems with where my priorities are, where God, family and football fall in place,” Maynard said. “And I had everything backwards, I wasn’t going to church like I needed to go to church. I wasn’t spending quality time with my boys when I should have spent time with my boys.

“And then you throw all of that onto three years ago when I lost my oldest son [Paul Maynard Jr., killed in a car accident Feb. 18, 2003],” the coach added. “I needed to step back and reevaluate everything. It was a good chance, an opportunity for me to step down.”

Maynard said fatigue was also a factor.

“The past few years I’ve been going, seems like twenty-four/seven,” Maynard said. “I’ve been putting a lot of time into it, and it’s kinda consumed me.

“Being a head coach is so demanding. It’s every single minute of your day,” he added. “When you’re not teaching, you’re involved in football. … I was over at the school until nine-thirty, ten-, ten-thirty at night,” adding that upon his late arrivals at home, “I try to fix [the boys] some supper. That’s two or three hours I could have spent with my boys.”

Despite four straight losing season — ending 5-6 last fall — “After four years, the program’s where it needs to be, someone can step in and maintain and possibly take it to the next level,” Maynard said. “So it’s not a program in shambles.”

Expressing his love of football, “I’ve been doing this for thirty-five years, either as a player or a coach,” said Maynard, a three-sport All-state athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Man High School in Man, W.Va., who upon graduation in 1976 landed at Carson-Newman College and became an All-American defensive end.

“And it’s been year-round. As a player I went from one sport to another in high school. And in college, naturally, [football] is year-round.”

Beginning as a assistant coach at BHS in the fall of 1988 before working up to becoming defensive coordinator and head coach, Maynard has been at the school for 17 of the past 18 years.

The coach said he’ll remain at BHS as a physical education and driver’s education teacher for the foreseeable future.

“I enjoy just being around the kids,” said Maynard, adding that he’s especially challenged by working with a student/athlete who “really doesn’t think he has a chance, either on the football field or in class, or maybe in society. I try to look for those kids and I try to take them under my wing.”

Lynn Hill, BHS athletic director and assistant principal, said the decision was “a hard day for Bearden High School,” adding that he, Maynard and the team met Tuesday, Jan. 10, to announce the decision.

“I don’t think we will be able to find a coach that cared more about the program and more about the boys,” Hill said. “We’re definitely going to miss that.”

Pleased with his backing, “Since I first came to Bearden High School back in eighty-eight, every administrator I’ve worked for has been super, they’ve been very supportive of Bearden High School football,” the coach said.

Maynard said it’s a “really good possibility” he’ll get back into coaching sometime in the future, pointing out he may be interested again upon Logan’s graduation from high school in 2008.


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