Bob Dare, who led Cambridge Christian’s football program to the state final in 2015, will no longer be the coach.
Dare coached the Lancers for 11 seasons, including five straight playoff appearances, the only ones in school history. He leaves as the school’s all-time winningest coach with 72 victories.
“The athletic director and administration have decided to go in the infamous new direction,” Dare said. “That’s the standard line, and the way people are treated these days. I don’t agree with it, but there’s nothing I can really do about it.”
Dare also is out as a teacher at the school. Athletic director Mark Butler said the school will conduct a national search in hopes of having a new coach in place by the end of January.
“The school appreciates Coach Bob Dare’s 11 years of service and commitment to the program. The school is actively seeking his replacement to lead the program,” school administrators said in a news release. Thursday
No other details were provided.
Since arriving at Cambridge, Dare made the program part of his family. His wife, Beth, baked cookies, took photos and posted them on social media. His three sons — Bobby, David and Jared — have all been assistants or volunteers throughout the years.
“When Cambridge said they were letting me go, it was like they were getting rid of all of us,” Dare said.
On Friday, there was an outpouring of support from current and former players who reached out via text messages or on social media.
“Forever grateful for all the lessons, mentoring and coaching you gave to me,” former Lancer and current Bethel University standout J’Kobi Reddick said of Dare on Twitter. “One of the best coaches I’ve ever had, but also a better God-fearing man. Upset about the news, but I know God has a better plan in store for you.”
Dare has been through this before.
In 2008, Dare was fired as Northside Christian’s coach after more than 21 years on the job. He also left as that school’s all-time leader in wins with 119. He was removed as vice principal/dean of students and Beth lost her position as a Bible teacher.
The reason given by then-headmaster Mary Brandes for the moves was that “God told me to do this.”
Students started wearing armbands to honor Dare and a petition circled around campus to have Brandes removed as headmaster and Dare reinstated.
In 2010, Dare was hired at Cambridge Christian. Five years later, he led the Lancers to an unbeaten regular season and their first and only trip to a state title game.
“I felt like I was not only able to build the program into a playoff contender, but also build character," Dare said. “I still feel like football is my platform to continue on that mission.”
Dare said he will spend the next few months looking for a teaching position and coaching job in high school, even if it means becoming an assistant to someone else.
“I’ve done this long enough to where I can pass the baton and offer my wisdom to a young head coach,” Dare said. “We’re just going to put our trust in God to lead us in the right job and situation.”