By Steve Gunn
MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP – The Reeths-Puffer varsity football team will have a new head coach next season.
“It boils down to family – I’ve got a one-year old I barely see, and God willing my wife and I will have another one,” Jewett told LocalSportsJournal.com. “I’m just at that stage of my life where I have devoted 11 years to coaching, and I need to be able to pivot now and focus on my family.”
On Friday Jewett completed his seventh season as head coach of the Rockets with a 62-12 loss to undefeated Muskegon.
The Rockets finished the season with a 5-4 record, and came close to qualifying for the state playoffs. The 2018 Rockets displayed a potent offense, outscoring opponents by a combined 323-265.
Jewett’s overall record at Reeths-Puffer was 30-34. The Rockets made the playoffs once under his leadership, in 2013, when they finished the regular season with a 7-2 record, then lost to Muskegon in the first round of the postseason.
Jewett said meeting with his players on Sunday and breaking the news was very difficult.
“This was the hardest decision of my life,” said Jewett, who added that he will keep his teaching job at the high school. “It’s tough when (players and coaches) devote so much to one another. Unless you’re in that situation, you can’t fully understand how strong the bond is. It was very emotional.”
After having so-so luck at one of the area’s biggest high schools, Jewett naturally came under fire from some fans and parents for not making the playoffs more consistently.
But he said that never bothered him very much.
“I’m the son of a coach,” said Jewett, who added that he was not asked to resign. “All of my role models growing up were football coaches, so I know that comes with the territory. It’s not something that played a major role in my decision.”
LocalSportsJournal.com was not able to reach Reeths-Puffer Athletic Director Tony Schmitt for comment.