NORMAL — Wes Temples has encouraged his players at Normal Community High School to establish goals and work diligently to accomplish them. Now, the coach is following his advice.
Temples resigned Tuesday as NCHS’ head football coach after 10 highly successful seasons, citing a desire to pursue a master's degree in administration and spend more time with his family.
“I have quite a few years in front of me and I have some goals outside of coaching,” said Temples, 39. “At some point you have to put in the work to achieve those goals.”
NCHS had an 83-25 record under Temples, making the playoffs each year, advancing to the second round six times and making the Class 7A quarterfinals in 2015. His win total is the third-highest in NCHS history.
He led the Ironmen to five Big 12 Conference championships, including four of the past five. This year's 10-1 team went 8-0 in the Big 12.
Prior to taking over as head coach, Temples was an assistant for six years at NCHS under Hud Venerable. He will remain at NCHS as a physical education and driver’s education teacher.
He and his wife, Shae, have four children.
“There’s never a good time (to walk away),” Temples said. “We have such an unbelievable group of kids and our parent group and our administration … it’s everything you could want as a coach in terms of support. They’re always there and always willing.
“It’s an emotional thing and a hard thing because I’m in a pretty good situation with the kids, parents and administration we have here.”
NCHS athletic director Mike Clark said Temples "is a man of high character and his teams always reflected that; he coached to win, but he understood and represented that high school football was more than just wins and losses.”
"When his teams took the field you knew who was in charge and that they would play clean, hard, sportsmanlike football,” Clark added. “His are huge shoes to fill, but Normal Community High School is committed to the ideals that Wes demonstrated so well, and will make every effort to find a new coach that will represent us equally as well.”
The son of a longtime coach (Gerald Temples), Temples said he has “an awfully big passion for sports.” One of his goals is to possibly become an athletic director.
“In the big picture that’s something that would be very intriguing,” Temples said. “I’ve been around great athletic directors and realize the type of impact they’ve had on me. Hopefully down the line I could be that guy for somebody else.
“It’s hard to tell what the future holds, but I think that (athletic director) is an aspiration.”
Wes and Shae Temples’ children are in seventh, fifth, fourth and second grades. Wes Temples called his wife “an absolute saint,” adding, “For a number of years she’s been the one taking them to practice and to tournaments and this and that.”
“You just don’t get that time back,” he said. “I’m sure there will be a time where maybe I can coach, but I’m at a point where I want to be more involved with the things they’re doing.”
Temples said he informed the NCHS administration of his plans two weeks ago and told his players on Monday.
“I wanted to be the one to tell our kids and to thank them,” he said. “Those guys have done everything we’ve asked them to do.”
Temples said he will miss the interaction with the players and his assistant coaches.
“You build awfully close bonds with people,” he said. “That’s what makes it difficult and emotional to tell some of those people that you’re moving on.”
Follow Randy Kindred on Twitter: @pg_kindred
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