As a crowded room of media, former players, parents and fellow teachers looked on, Bob Ladouceur announced Friday he is stepping down as De La Salle High's head football coach.
Ladouceur, 58, will continue as a teacher at the Concord Catholic school, but the highly successful team will now be overseen by new head coach Justin Alumbaugh, a De La Salle alumnus who has been an assistant coach for more than a decade.
"The reason I am stepping down as head coach is because it's a good time to do so," said Ladouceur. "I am not stepping away from coaching. I will still be involved in some capacity in the program. However, 34 years as a head coach is a long time. It's a good time for the transition."
Here's a round-up of Patch's coverage so far:
- Read a compilation of comments about Ladouceur's departure here.
- A young sports writer reflects on what it was like covering the dominating De La Salle team.
- Former running back Jim Donnelly and siblings reflect on growing up a De La Salle football family.
- Neil Hayes: De La Salle's Ladouceur Was Never About the Numbers
Ladouceur finishes his 34-year head coaching career with a 399-25-3 record, including 17 state football titles and 29 North Coast Section championships. His teams have not lost to a Northern California squad since 1991.
However, Ladouceur was praised Friday for more than just his coaching abilities.
"We are amazed at how Bob has over many years built a program whose success can be measured not only by the scoreboard but by how these young men learn the values that make for a successful life, a life of meaning, a life of service," said Brother Robert J. Wickman, principal at De La Salle.
Glenn Coats, a parent who attended the press conference, has a son, Earl, who was a senior on this year's state championship team. Coats said it's hard to describe how much of an impact Coach Ladouceur has had on his son.
"We've watched a young boy grow to be a dedicated, discipline, respective man," he added.
The Pittsburg father added he has "no doubts" the Spartan team will be as successful under their new head coach.