Story last updated at 1:56 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 2002

High school football coach resigns
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

The Homer High School football program began a search for a new head coach Wednesday, with less than two weeks remaining before its opening practice and under a month before its Aug. 10 season opener.

Homer High Athletic Director Chris Perk made the announcement Wednesday, after former coach Todd Phillips revealed Tuesday that he had accepted a job to teach science and coach at the high school level in Johnson City, Texas.

Terry Fraley will fill in as the interim head coach. Fraley was an assistant coach and the defensive coordinator under Phillips, who has been head coach for the past seven seasons.

Last season, Phillips and the Mariners posted a 6-2 record, Homer's best season in more than 20 years of football. Phillips said it was one of three winning seasons during his tenure with the Mariners.

"I think we've built up the program now, and with the excellent assistant coaches we have, all the kids have to do is go play," Phillips said. "I don't think they're going to miss a beat at all. I'm (anticipating) a good season for those guys."

Perk said that while the timing is a little tight, he hopes the Mariners will have a new coach in place for the start of the season.

Homer High Principal Ron Keffer said he'd talked to a number of parents and players about the move.

"All of the folks involved have been looking forward to the new season, and they want to make sure that we do the right thing by the young men on the team," Keffer said.

"They're eager to see what they think is going to be a pretty good year continue to be that way."

The departure of Phillips leaves Homer High School hunting for two new teachers. In addition to Phillips, Dick Sander, who has taught physics and math at the high school for many years, is departing for Anchor Point to become the principal at Chapman School.