ESSEX - After confirming that he intended to stay at Richland High School for another season a month ago, varsity boys basketball head coach Jeff Jennewein has decided to resign his position to take another head coaching position.
Jennewein confirmed to the Standard Democrat late Thursday night, that he has accepted the boys head coaching position at a high school in Vienna, Mo.
"It was a very difficult decision to make," said Jennewein. "I guess it started a month ago when we found out that my wife was pregnant. I mean it took us by surprise. That really put the ball in motion."
Jennewein explained that a friend of his father, who is the principal at Vienna, contacted him about his interest in the job. According to Jennewein, he wasn't looking for another job but the attraction of living closer to both his and his wife's family was tempting.
"I didn't apply for the position," said Jennewein, "he is a family-friend and contacted me for an interview. I was not expecting to take the job but it is so close to our families that I thought it was meant to be. My wife and I are family-oriented and it is our first baby. We just felt like it would be in our best interest to be closer to family."
For Jennewein, leaving is going to be tough to swallow.
"The hardest part for me was telling the kids that I wasn't coming back next year," said Jennewein. "I respect Richland's superintendent and principal and have made a lot of friends here. I informed Mr. (Ken) Latham of my intentions last night (Wednesday night).
"It has been a real rough day," said Jennewein, "just a real emotional day. Since I have been here at Richland I have always put my kids first. I guess I put my wife first today. It is going to be real hard to leave."
Once Richland makes a decision on a new varsity coach, it will be the ninth coach since 1995 to take the helm for the Rebels.