GLADSTONE - Citing the time commitment of the job and an overall feeling that it was simply time, Gladstone boys basketball varsity coach Phil Griebel turned in his letter of resignation Sunday night.
"It mainly came down to, it takes a lot of time. It's a big commitment." Griebel said Monday afternoon. "I want to thank Gladstone schools and Mr. Houle for giving me the opportunity. I've been coaching for seven years and I just decided it was time to walk away for a little bit."
Griebel is coming off his best season with the Braves, going 11-12 last season and winning a district title. Overall he was 29-35 over three seasons as head coach at Gladstone. Previously, he coached the Braves' JV team.
Griebel said the outside demands of coaching at the varsity level was one of the challenges of the job.
"I coached a little bit at the JV level and I noticed the varsity level is more about winning. I like to teach the kids and coaching is more about just wins and losses," he said. "It's hard to deal with sometimes - the pressures of winning and the expectations of fans and parents. I felt I did it the right way and I felt my assistant coach John Cretens and all the time he put in...we gave it our all when we were there and we're proud of what we did."
Griebel said he dropped off his letter of resignation Sunday night. Athletic director Matt Houle announced Griebel's departure Monday morning and was saddened by the news.
"I feel bad that Phil is giving it up. I think he has given his very best over his years as varsity coach and previous to that, as JV coach. He has worked very hard and he had a great passion for the game and I will miss him. He was a valuable member of our coaching staff and I wish him the very best," said Houle in a message left to the Daily Press.
Griebel said the toughest part about leaving now is not finishing what he started with the junior class on the team.
"The hard part is to walk away because I love all the kids. The junior kids there, I coached them this year and I won't be there next year and that's hard because I really liked them," he said. "People might say I just coached because my son was playing and now he's done but that wasn't a factor at all. It mainly came down to the time commitment."
Griebel did say the program was in good condition for the next coach.
"I feel like what we were working on, has been working," he said. "The kids that are there now have a lot of talent and drive. I think they'll be fine. You never know from season to season how things will turn out but it's a good group of kids and I wish them well."
Houle said he will work diligently to find a new basketball coach.
"We will work on finding a replacement as soon as possible because of course, with the summer camps and programs going on, we'll need to get someone in place," he said.
Meanwhile, Griebel did not rule out continuing to coach at some point.
"Usually every year, I re-evaluate at the end of the season and take a little time to think about what I want to do," he said. "I still feel a passion to coach and I'm not saying I'll never coach again. I really enjoy it and I'll miss a lot of it. It wasn't that I didn't want to do it and it's not personal. I just felt it was time to walk away."