Less than 48 hours after being named the Class 4A Wrestling Coach of the Year, Highland Park’s Tony Warren told his team he was resigning after six years at the helm.
“The bottom line is the school district has certain expectations for its teachers, and I have certain expectations for a school district, and they just don’t match up,” Warren said. “You throw in that and I’m spending two-and-a-half hours a day on the road back and forth getting home. I’ve also got a first-grader who’s starting to get involved in sports. I’ve got to find something a little more flexible and a little more conducive to making sure I can be as good of a dad as I can.”
Warren, who lives in Midlothian, said the decision to leave was a tough one that he had made a while back.
“I’ve known, but the focus was on trying to take care of everything I could this year,” Warren said. “I addressed the team on Monday and tried to go about the process of making the transition and going from there. Ultimately, you always want to leave something better than the way you got it. We’ve definitely done that.”
Highland Park had 10 state qualifiers just one season after not having a single regional qualifier. Scots freshman Nick Reenan won the 152-pound division at state and was named wrestler of the year.
Warren said the team was stunned when he announced his decision.
“Anywhere I’ve ever been, when it comes to this stuff, it’s usually a pretty somber situation,” Warren said. “It was. It’s pretty shocking information. I told them I taught them life skills and, hopefully, they learned enough from me to adapt. Life’s going to throw some adversity at you. Sometimes change is something you have control over; sometimes it’s not. This is one they didn’t have control over. I hope they continue to build on the success.”
Boys athletic director Randy Allen could not be reached for comment.