FREDERICKTOWN — Will Hartley has marched along the sidelines at Fredericktown football games for 16 years.
Friday, he announced that he will do so no more.
Hartley tendered his resignation as head football coach of the Freddies, after holding the position the past three seasons.
“I would like to express my thanks to the Fredericktown administration for their consistent support over the past three years,” Hartley said in a statement. “I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of my assistant coaches, support staff and the many boys that embraced the challenge of playing the great game of football.”
Hartley took over following the resignation of head coach Brian Baum, who accepted a job in Canton. Hartley immediately had an impact, leading Fredericktown to a 10-3 record and co-champions of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. Fredericktown reached the regional finals that season.
The most recent two seasons were not as successful in terms of wins. The Freddies finished 4-6 in ’16 and 5-5 in ’17. Every loss this past season was to a playoff team. The season ended with three straight wins, including a 42-7 pounding of Centerburg on Oct. 27, 2017, in their final game.
In a statement to the News, Hartley said there was no single factor that led to his decision, but was choosing to “pursue other interests in my professional and personal life.”
Hartley, a history teacher at Fredericktown, became a coach on the varsity football team in 2002. He served as an assistant coach and, later, as defensive coordinator under head coaches Luke Beal and Brian Baum. In his last eight years as defensive coordinator, the Freddies allowed 18 points per game and recorded 10 shutouts.
“Coach Hartley invested a tremendous amount of time and effort into our football program at Fredericktown during his 16 years on our football staff,” said Fredericktown Athletic Director Nate Bellman. “I appreciate Coach Hartley’s selfless service to our student-athletes.”
Bellman said the search for a new head coach will begin soon. No timetable was known as of press time.