Barry Harley is retiring as Gilbert football coach and athletics director at the end of the school year.
Harley has been at Gilbert since 2005. The Indians went 2-8 this season and missed out on the playoffs.
“I have been thinking about it for three years now,” the 58-year-old Harley said. “I met with district before the season and discussed it with them. I love football to no end. But it is demanding to try and do both coach and being an athletic director.”
Harley told his team of his decision Tuesday in a meeting. He said he hasn’t ruled possibly returning to coaching one day in the future.
Gilbert made the postseason eight of his 11 seasons at the school. Harley’s best season with the Indians came in 2007 when they went 7-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Newberry.
Harley began his teaching and coaching career at Saluda in 1981. His first head football coaching job came in 1988 at St. John’s in Darlington. He also coached at West Oak and Mid-Carolina before arriving at Gilbert.
“I am incredibly blessed to be at all the schools I have worked at and fortunate to coach and have an impact on the players,” Harley said.
Harley earned region coach of year five times in his career and also was an assistant in the North-South football game and Shrine Bowl. At Gilbert, he also oversaw construction of a new football and soccer stadium, baseball stadium, track facility, weight training facility, tennis facility and renovating the softball field.
Gilbert finished regularly in the top 10 in the State Athletic Director’s Cup, earning more than 50 region titles from 2005–2015.
“His way of inspiring students to be their very best on the field, court and in life is a special gift,” Gilbert principal Ann O’Cain said in a release. “His wisdom, honesty and remarkable ability to help others enabled him to be a tremendous mentor to our students as well as young teachers and coaches. He will be missed at Gilbert High.”