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Chad Wilmarth leaving after 4 years as Genoa-Kingston head football coach

GENOA – Chad Wilmarth knew this was going to be his last year at the helm of the Genoa-Kingston wrestling program.

But on Tuesday his resignation was accepted by the district’s school board, as he stepped down as a teacher and football coach, as well, for the Cogs.

“I told the boys this past Friday,” Wilmarth said. “I definitely want them to be aware of the situation. It was board-approved on Tuesday. It’s one of those things, it’s never an easy decision. This season has been unique, but I can’t say enough good things about the kids we had.”

Wilmarth went 36-11 in his tenure as the head football coach, making the playoffs each season there was a postseason.

Wilmarth said he accepted a position teaching at his alma mater of Byron and will be an assistant coach on the wrestling and football teams. He said the decision allows him to spend more time with his wife and two children after spending six years as the head wrestling coach and four as the head football coach.

“This was not something I was expecting to happen,” Wilmarth said. “It was not a decision that was come to easily or lightly. The kids, the families, the assistant coaches, everyone at Genoa-Kingston is awesome. It’s the best move for me and my family. That is the only reason.”

The Cogs had the last two games of the season wiped out because of the coronavirus. They finished the year 3-0 – the Big Northern Conference had planned only a five-game schedule, taking Week 1 off.

“That’s something that is tough to put together,” Wilmarth said. “I have to keep telling myself that we didn’t even think we were going to have football. All of a sudden we had football and we had the mentality to be the best team we can be with the games we have. We told them, ‘Enjoy the journey, this could be your last game.’ And unfortunately, we had a little of that happen to us.”

But one of the wins was against Byron, the state runner-up two years in a row.

When asked if that win means more now, Wilmarth repeated what he said after the game – how Byron is well-coached, how the Cogs played hard and it was a great battle.

“It was special, but I think every game was special this year,” Wilmarth said. “We told the kids it was special this year, no matter how it played out.”

G-K athletic director Phil Jerbi said that the news happened quickly and there is no time frame in place for a replacement. He did say that there are open teaching positions in the district, and they’ll try to align those the best they can.

Jerbi said Wilmarth has been a blessing for the district as a coach and a teacher.

“With the energy he provides on an everyday basis, whether it is in the classroom, weight room or out on the field, he is going to be incredibly difficult to replace. We were blessed to have him here in the time we did and wish nothing but the best for him and his family.”

And although Wilmarth said he wished his final season was more than three games long, he was happy with both it and his time in the district.

“The seniors went undefeated their senior year, the juniors went undefeated their junior year, and no one can take that away from them,” Wilmarth said. “And that was the goal all along. Take advantage of it, make the most of it, and the kids really did that.”