Charles Liggett has spent half of his career trying to help build Nature Coast’s football program.
After a decade with the team, including three years as a head coach, Liggett is moving on.
Liggett resigned his coaching position following the Sharks’ 4-6 season. He had been considering the move for weeks and informed his players of his decision in a meeting Tuesday morning.
“I feel like after the last three years and unfortunately the way the season went, maybe it’s time for me to move on and look into something else,” Liggett said.
Liggett, the Sharks’ former defensive coordinator, took over NCT in June 2011 hoping to bring stability to a talented but turbulent program as its fourth head coach in four seasons.
His athletic director, Kristin Peeples, praised Liggett for boosting the team’s GPA, bringing more discipline to the team and raising the program’s overall character.
“He’s a person that we hate to see go,” Peeples said. “I know people say everyone’s replaceable, but he’s a hard one to replace because of what he did.”
But NCT struggled to break into the upper echelon of the North Suncoast.
The Sharks had a marquee victory in September with a 29-28 comeback win at Pasco this season but lost the next three games to fall out of the playoff picture. NCT’s season ended Friday with a 20-14 victory over Ocala Lake Weir.
In three seasons, Liggett compiled a 15-15 record on the field (16-14 including a forfeit win) and no playoff appearances.
Liggett said his entire family was invested in the program, and eventually the strain became too much for them personally.
“This is what we do,” Liggett said. “We have to be comfortable. It has to be the perfect scenario.”
Liggett plans to stroll the sidelines next fall as an assistant or a head coach somewhere, and he will remain a history teacher at NCT. He said the toughest part of his decision was leaving the players he had worked with for years.
“The kids, they’re the brightest spot of the whole thing,” Liggett said. “A majority of the kids on the team would run through a brick wall for me, and they have. They’ve given everything they’ve got.”
Nature Coast is the second Hernando County coaching position to open up since the end of the regular season. Mike Einspahr and Central parted ways last week.
Peeples said the school plans to post the job Wednesday with the hopes of identifying a new coach who can teach on campus by the start of spring football.