Matt Swoner

Matt Swoner

Red Boiling Springs High head football coach Matt Swoner told his players that he was resigning following the Bulldogs' 48-0 loss at Clay County last Friday evening.

"It was family," Swoner said of his decision. "I have an almost 2-year-old daughter at home. It was me wanting to spend more time at home. I felt like I was neglecting that."

RBS will be in search of its fourth head coach in six seasons. Swoner is in his fifth season as part of the program, having worked as an assistant coach under Kyle Shoulders for one season and then under Michael Brown for the following two years. He's been the head coach at RBS for the past two years.

"It was after the game, and they were tired," Swoner said of the players' reaction. "Everybody was ready to get home with the way the game went (consisting of injuries and minimal success), so there wasn't much reaction."

The Bulldog program won two games under Swoner, the first coming via forfeit after Cannon County used an ineligible player during the opening game of the 2018 season.

The lone on-field win for RBS during Swoner's tenure came two weeks ago, a 26-21 victory over visiting Pickett County on homecoming.

"It is (difficult)," Swoner said of the decision. "I've been around for five years now. You grind from July to October. When it's over, it's a relief. Then, you start winter workouts.

"It's hard (to step down). It's going to take some adjusting."

Having a limited number of players has continued to be a challenge for the Bulldog program.

RBS was forced to cancel its game on Oct. 11 against visiting Clinton County (Kentucky) due to not having an adequate number of players available.

In the team's season finale, there were 14 players in uniform.

"It's been frustrating at times," the 33-year-old Swoner said. "The ones who are there and who care, they make it fun for me. They are the ones you miss. You want to see them keep improving.

"I knew what I was getting into when I got this job. I just tried to keep it together."

However, the Red Boiling Springs Junior High football program had approximately 30 players this season, after not fielding a team the previous season. That could help to increase the number of players in the high-school program.

"That's promising," Swoner said. "We didn't have (junior high) football last year. Hopefully, if we can get through this span of low numbers, maybe the program can be built back home."

The Bulldog program is losing six seniors to graduation.

"This is the best time to transition for them," Swoner said. "Coach (Derek) Meador will back to coach the defense, and Coach (Sean) Link will be back to coach the offense."

Swoner -- who teaches United States history, government and economics -- plans to remain at the school as a teacher, and he plans to coach the Red Boiling Springs Junior High baseball team. Swoner coached that squad during his first three years at the school, didn't coach the team last season but plans to coach the team again this spring.