Hough High football coach Miles Aldridge will not return to the sideline for the 2017 season.
Aldridge has been relieved of his duties as football coach by school administration, athletics director Masanori Toguchi confirmed Tuesday. Aldridge said he will remain at the school for now as a teacher.
“I did not resign,” Aldridge told the Observer Tuesday afternoon. “I’m not quitting. I’m not resigning and I’m not retiring.”
Aldridge said he learned of the change in a meeting with Hough principal Laura Rosenbach and Toguchi Monday afternoon.
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“I didn’t have any idea it was coming,” Aldridge said. “I haven’t crossed the line anywhere. There’s no reason like that (to fire me).”
Hough opened in 2010. Aldridge was the school’s second coach, following Bobby Collins, who was 25-20 in four seasons. Aldridge led the Huskies to three straight winning seasons and three straight playoff berths, going 29-11. The school won its first conference title in 2015.
Before coming to Hough, Aldridge coached four seasons at Spring Valley High in Columbia. He was 12-1 in his last season there in 2013, losing to Dutch Fork and former Independence coach Tom Knotts in the playoffs. Aldridge has more than 30 years of coaching experience in high schools, college and the NFL.
He was a defensive coordinator at South Carolina, Clemson, Arkansas, La.-Lafayette and Middle Tennessee State. He's been an assistant at East Tennessee State, Wichita State, Tulsa, Mississippi, Duke, N.C. State, Central Florida and with the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Aldridge also coached in nine college bowl games and was named S.C. Football Coaches Association high school football coach of the year in 2013.
But after three seasons at Hough, Toguchi said the school decided to remove Aldridge. He is the 25th coach in the Observer’s N.C. coverage area who will not return to his old job in the fall.
“We decided to go in a different direction,” Toguchi said. “We never measure a program by wins or losses. It has nothing to do with winning or losing.”
Toguchi said he expected the opening to be posted on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ website Tuesday afternoon and that the school would accept applications immediately. Toguchi said no interim coach has been named to guide the team through off-season workouts, but he said the school hoped to move quickly.
“If we can find a quality candidate, yes we’ll pull the trigger,” Toguchi said. “If not, we’ll look to do somebody on staff.”
Meanwhile, Aldridge said he hopes to coach again.
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “We were 7-5 with 14 sophomores last year, plus we had five to seven kids that came in from (former private-school power) Davidson Day. I thought this could be a really good football team and I was looking forward to it. ...
“But I’m looking for an opportunity. I’m a good football coach and my record speaks for itself. I’m just going to look for the right fit for someone who wants a football coach.”
Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
Observer-Area high school football coaching changes
2016 head coach
2017 head coach
Jim Bob Bryant