After coaching high school football for 30 seasons, including the past three at Lexington, Allen Sitterle is done.
Sitterle, a four-time state champion coach in South Carolina, said Tuesday he is retiring as Lexington's football coach and athletics director.
"I want to spend time with my grandchildren," he said. "I missed the birth of my latest grandchild because I was coaching football. I thought about (retiring) at the start of this football season, but I didn't feel it was right to the kids. I thought it was a good time now. There's nothing left for me to accomplish."
Sitterle posted a 20-17 record at Lexington, including 5-7 this season.
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A former North Carolina State football player, he coached 25 years at the high school level in South Carolina, at Spartanburg, Daniel and Lexington. His career record is 282-98.
Sitterle had his greatest success at Daniel, where he won state championships in 1991, '92', '95 and '98.
"I think he's one of the best out there," Lexington principal Creig Tyler said. "I have the utmost respect for Allen and what he's done for Lexington High. I'm going to miss him. He was a good friend of mine."
Sitterle left Daniel after the 2005 season and coached one year at North Atlanta High (Ga.) before taking over at Lexington in 2007.
In Tyler's opinion, Sitterle's finest work came that season. Lexington had won five games the previous two seasons combined. But under Sitterle, the Wildcats went 6-6 and qualified for the Class 4A playoffs.
"We came a long way with the kids we had," Tyler said.
Sitterle believes he's leaving the program better than he found it three years ago.
"When I came here, the program was kind of in disarray," he said. "I felt we really improved. The future is bright for Lexington High football."
Lexington's best season under Sitterle came in 2008, when the Wildcats went 9-4 and advanced to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Tyler said Sitterle also was a good athletics director, overseeing all teams,
"I think overall (he was) very good," Tyler said. "I think a lot of football coaches who are athletic directors have a rub that they are not doing all they can for the other sports. But he really does. He goes to the events. He supports the events.
"Allen is a good man, a very genuine person. Some people may say he's different than others. But he's a very genuine human being."
Tyler said he will begin looking for a replacement next week.
Lexington joins Midlands high schools Spring Valley, Dutch Fork and Dreher in the search for football coaches.