EUHS football program faces major change

By Andrea Camarena

After two seasons of shaping and improving Monarch football, Exeter head coach Robert Dougherty is leaving EUHS to coach at his Division I Visalia Alma Mater Mt. Whitney.

His decision was made public on Friday, Feb. 25, but according to Exeter Athletic Director Darin Pace, Dougherty advised the school of his intent to turn in his resignation weeks ago.

"We already had the inclination," Pace said. "Robert advised us early on and we have already taken steps to get the word out that we're looking for a coach who is a good fit for Exeter."

The school officially opened the position for hire on Monday and Pace hopes to have the opening filled within two weeks.

"We'd like to make a really quick transition and make adjustments quickly," Pace said.

The team will stay on course for its spring and summer conditioning despite the staffing changes.

The school is able to offer their newest hire a full time teaching position which should offer incentive for qualified candidates.

"When Rob came, no teaching position was available," Pace said. "Now, we're a team on the rise and we can offer a teaching job."

In two years, Dougherty has made a major turnaround in the Division three team.

The Monarchs excelled in the Fall of 2004 earning a playoff birth after a 5-2 league record and a 6-5 overall record.

"Coach Dougherty brought a lot to the program," Pace said. "He helped rebuild this program. We look forward to continuing that with a new coach."

"Rob did a great job of integrating himself into the community. He became part of the boosters. That's what we're looking for."

The Monarchs will return to the field in September and in the following months will adjust to the loss of not only Dougherty but key senior players including QB Drew Branch and standout WR Cory Griffin.

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