The recurring theme for McPherson College football coach Steve Fox was “family.”
And because of family, Fox is stepping down as the Bulldogs’ head coach after just one season.
Fox, a native of Odessa, Texas, has taken a position as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Cisco (Texas) College.
A big reason for the move is to be closer to his daughters.
“The move I am making is summed up by the opportunity to be close to two beautiful young ladies that are my daughters,” Fox said. “I have preached family and the importance of it during my time here and my biggest hope is everyone sees that in this decision I am making.”
The injury-decimated Bulldogs were 4-5 in the KCAC and 4-7 overall in Fox’s only year as head coach. They were a hard-luck team, as they lost by 3 points in double overtime to KCAC champion Ottawa, by 3 points to Sterling, by 6 points to MidAmerica Nazarene and by 7 points to Bethany College.
Fox served for two years as Mac’s defensive coordinator before being promoted to the head job to replace Pete Sterbick following his resignation.
“Words cannot express my gratitude for the opportunity I was given at McPherson College as an assistant and head coach,” Fox said. “I have created lifelong relationships here that I will cherish forever. Proud is an understatement when it comes to the Bulldogs and all they accomplished the three years I was blessed to be around them.”
Fox said it was a hard decision.
“McPherson will always be special to me in many ways,” Fox said. “I wanted to leave the program better than it was handed to me and I wish nothing but success for its future.”
McPherson College Athletic Director Doug Quint said he is losing both a coach and a friend.
“Selfishly, I am really sorry to see Steve go,” Quint said. “On the other hand, as a father, I am extremely happy for him. The decision he made is a no-brainer and I wish him nothing but the best. He has been nothing but a pure professional and someone who is leaving a program better than the way he found it.”
Offensive coordinator Justin Van Houten has been named as interim head coach, Quint said.
Mac has had three coaches in the past five years. Joe Bettasso was the head coach in 2010-11 and Sterbick was the coach in 2012-13. Mac has not had a winning season since Bettasso’s first year when Mac was 10-1 and made the NAIA playoffs, which came on the heels of a 9-2 season in Brian Ward’s final year in 2009, which resulted in the Bulldogs’ first-ever playoff appearance.
Cisco is coming off a 1-6-1 season. It plays in the Southwest Junior College Conference, which is among the toughest in the country. Trinity Valley, Tyler, Kilgore, Navarro, Blinn and NEO are the other teams and all have distinguished football histories.