As the dust begins to settle on one of the most intriguing sagas in Tuttle football history, the man in the middle of it has spoken.
Philip Koons, who last Friday officially resigned from his head coaching position of 21 years with the Tigers, said he made the decision to be able to spend more time with his family.
"It's time to move on," Koons said. "I've got an 11 year-old son, and I'd just like to spend more time with my family. I'm just tired."
Koons has spent the past 25 years with Tuttle football, four of them as an assistant coach. As head coach he accrued a record of 205-50, landing two state titles while establishing the Tigers as a traditional powerhouse.
That's part of the reason why his sudden resignation late last Monday was taken so hard, and with at least a hint of skepticism, by the Tuttle community. In an emergency meeting on Friday, the Tuttle School Board accepted that resignation in front of a packed Administration Building where some of those gathered seemed to put blame on administration for his sudden departure.
Koons, however, says he was "absolutely not forced out" of his job.
"I had a fine career at Tuttle; it was a great town," he said. "We had some great players, but I love my family more."
The immediate future for Koons, he said, will be in school administration, and he is currently seeking a position. In the long-term, he's not ruling out a return to the sidelines.
"I'm not saying I won't ever coach again," Koons said.
Superintendent Bobby Waitman said the task to fill Koons' position is "tremendous." In Friday's meeting, an emotional Board Vice President Karen Osborn described Koons as a friend and mentor in the community. She also said Koons had contacted the Board asking that they accept his resignation letter.