Land O' Lakes boys soccer coach Mark Pearson has resigned after 16 seasons, Pearson confirmed Tuesday.
During 16 seasons at the helm, Pearson led the Gators to three state final four appearances, including state runnerup finishes in 1999 and 2012. Last season, the Gators were district runners up, finishing 13-8-1 and falling to Citrus in the 3A region quarterfinal.
Pearson, 42, said he decided to step away from the job to be able to spend more time with his family. Since his father was his assistant coach, Pearson doesn't expect his replacement to come from within the program.
He is sure, though, that whoever takes over the program will get to enjoy the same things he did during the past 16 years.
"(I'll miss) seeing players lift trophies after long seasons, when you put in the time and effort we put in," Pearson said. "It's always something that's great to see."