STAMFORD, Conn. – In the end, former Stamford High football coach Bryan Hocter felt like he had nothing more to give.
“I’ve done everything I can to move the program in a direction I wanted to move it to,’’ said Hocter, who stepped down Monday after three years as head coach. “It was disappointing this year. We didn’t have the turnout of the kids I thought we’d have. We had brand new uniforms, practically a new field. I was disheartened to see that.
“I’ve been here for 11 years and poured my heart and soul into it,’’ Hocter added. “From January to November, I worked as hard as I possibly could for the program. I’ve always been a creature of habit, but maybe Stamford needs a new face to run the program. It was something my gut was telling me.”
Hocter finished with a career mark of 15-14 at Stamford, including a 2-8 record this fall. The Black Knights lost their final eight games, including a season-ending loss to Westhill on Thanksgiving. It was Stamford’s first loss to its archrival since 2007.
Hocter was an assistant coach to Kevin Jones for seven years before becoming head coach in 2010.
“This season really took a toll on me personally,’’ Hocter said. “I tried to deny what I was feeling, and it made the situation worse. I had a lot of frustration to say the least. Maybe I just don’t have that mojo any more. I just felt for this year like I could not do enough to motivate the kids to play hard. (Former Danbury coach) Rick Davis told me once when you care about winning more than the kids, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.”
Hocter said he’d like to continue in coaching and has approached coaches at several schools in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference about joining their staff. He also said he would be willing to become a head coach again.
“I’d welcome that opportunity,’’ Hocter said. “Once you get a taste of it, you want to try it again. That was one of the hardest things, to give it up. But there’s a lot more to it. You have to have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing a disservice to the kids.”