At least 37-year-old Craig Farnsworth can say that he left Marietta High a winner with a 33-28 triumph over host Warren in a 2010 prep football season finale at Vincent on Oct. 29.
On Wednesday, the MHS gridiron boss announced that he was stepping down after one season at the Tigers helm.
A search for Farnsworth's replacement will begin immediately.
"This was a very difficult decision for me as I have developed some great relationships with players, parents and coaches," Farnsworth said. "I feel terrible about leaving after only one season. It is the right thing for me to do right now as my wife's job has required many more days out of town than expected. This, along with the hours required for coaching has drastically reduced the amount of time we spend together. There is a good possibility that we will be relocating within the year, and possibly again in the future."
Said Marietta assistant and ninth-grade football coach Bob Springer, "Craig and his wife (Jo) simply have the desire to spend more time together. Football coaching and her job (management job within the nursing field) simply took so much time that their personal lives were being affected. It is a lifestyle decision."
Farnsworth also kicked off his football head coaching career at Marietta with a victory as the Tigers downed Morgan 28-7 in the 2010 season opener in McConnelsville. But in between, the orange and black 11 struggled and finished the campaign 3-7.
"We were competitive last season with only 26 players on the roster, and most of the season only 21 of those dressed for games," Farnsworth said. "We ended the season with five freshmen on the field in a rivalry game and won on the road. I believe the coaching staff did a great job of teaching the fundamentals of the game, instilling confidence in the players and showing the players that they could be successful. It wasn't always pretty, by any means, but the kids played hard and learned to compete. And for that I would like to thank the coaches and players.
"There is a good core group of returning players with experience. I look for the team to be improved and possibly be .500, or with a couple fortunate bounces, be 6-4. I wish the players the best and thank them for their hard work and willingness to do what it takes to get better. The next coach is going to have a great group of players."
About a year ago, Farnsworth - who succeeded Andy Schob (now the Warren head football coach) - was hired as the Tigers head football coach during a special meeting of the Marietta City Schools Board of Education. More than 30 applicants submitted resumes for the position.
A 1991 graduate of Parkersburg High School, Farnsworth began his coaching career the following year, serving as a Big Reds defensive coordinator for three years and offensive coordinator in 2001.
During the 2001 campaign, Farnsworth succeeded Marshall Burdette, who was dismissed for school policy violations, and became the PHS interim head coach. That season, the Big Reds went on to claim the W.Va. Class AAA championship with a 12-2 record.
After leaving PHS, Farnsworth coached football for three seasons at Musselman High in the West Virginia panhandle. He then headed south to Dutch Fork High in Irma, S.C., where he was the defensive coordinator.
In 2008, Farnsworth packed his bags again, and went to Hammond School in Columbia, S.C. There as defensive coordinator, the private school won a state crown. He then returned to Dutch Fork as an assistant head football coach.
"There is also the fact that I have spent all of my adult life coaching football," Farnsworth said. "I started when I was 19 and have sacrificed countless weekends of beautiful weather to sit in an office with no windows watching endless hours of video. I loved every minute minute of it. But now I would like to see how the rest of the world spends their fall weekends and do some things that I have missed out on. I don't want to wake up one day twenty years from now and wonder where that time went."
Farnsworth is married (wife Jo) and has a stepdaughter (Kayla). He has a Bachelors of Elementary Education degree from West Virginia at Parkersburg and certification in Special Education from Fairmont State University, where he's also working on his masters.
"Craig Farnsworth was a pleasure to be with and to work for," Springer said. "He was quick to use everyone's ideas and is a good listener. He genuinely loves MHS, fellow teachers, the administration and the kids.
"We have come so far in the last year. We have to find a way to continue the progress. I am, by the way, a real fan of the entire staff. I don't know what anyone's plans are now."
Farnsworth said he was very pleased with the many improvements made with the Marietta High football program.
"I am especially proud of the new Touchdown Club," he said. "With support lacking from the current booster configuration, I asked parents and community leaders to step up and create an organization that could provide the financial resources that have obviously been lacking in recent years. There have been key upgrades to the weightroom, numbers are up as there were 33 players working out before the start of spring sports."