PANAMA CITY, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - There's some news on the high school football front, as two area coaches are out as of Tuesday.
Both Bozeman and North Bay Haven now searching to replace Lyle Messer and Jeff Lee respectively.
Let's begin with Coach Messer and Bozeman. He told NewsChannel 7 Sports late last week he'd decided to step down as the Bucks head coach, and asked us to wait before announcing it until he could tell the kids himself Tuesday morning.
Messer came to Bozeman back in January of 2014, after Loren Tillman left the job following the 2013 season, in which the Bucks were just 2-8.
Messer's first season at Bozeman just 1-9 season followed, but then three straight five wins seasons, so an overall mark of 16-22 for the coach.
"You know, it's been an incredible four years here," Messer said. "It's been a great four years with the kids here and the people here have had a great impact on my life, but the last few months I've been mulling over the direction of the program. It was just last week that I decided if the program had a new leader at the helm, some new life, some new energy, maybe a new thought process to carry the program forward. I just thought I wasn't the best fit anymore for Bozeman, so I decided to do what's best for the kids and step down."
Messer goes on to say he feels it's in best interest for the kids for him to step down at this time.
"It's undoubtedly been the most difficult job I've ever had to try to get the most out of these kids and try to put a product out on the field and be competitive against some league opponents like St. Joe, Blountstown, South Walton, those guys," Messer said. "So it was not easy to let it ago because so much has been put into it. Kids here have been wonderful, they believed in what we've been doing and we feel like we had this thing going in the last three years. It was tough to let it go but I just feel like it was best at this time that somebody assumes the responsibility of leadership."