Bill Baldridge

Bill Baldridge

After only two seasons as the head football coach at Rowan County Senior High School, Bill Baldridge resigned from the position on Tuesday. The resignation will take effect immediately.

Baldridge is fifth head coach of the program in the past 10 seasons.

He compiled a 4-17 mark during his tenure as the team’s head coach.

The Vikings returned to district competition this year and automatically qualified for the state playoffs. Four teams in each district earned berths to the playoffs and there were only four teams in Rowan County’s district (Class 4A District 8).

Rowan County finished 1-2 in district play, including earning a road victory over Lawrence County 23-13 on October 5. The Vikings finished in third place, but lost their opening playoff game to Greenup County 40-6 last Friday.

“I had high expectations for team this year. I hold myself responsible for not meeting those,” Baldridge said. “I never lost confidence in my abilities, but I would go to bed each night thinking what could I have done better.

“I am getting to the age where I want to spend more time with my grandchildren,” he added.

According to Rowan County Superintendent of Schools Marvin Moore, Baldridge will remain on the RCSHS staff as the in-school suspension instructor.

“We just really appreciate Bill’s commitment to the program, kids and the community,” Moore said. “We respect and appreciate his hard work and effort and we wish him well.”

RCSHS Director of Athletics Roy Wright accepted Baldridge’s resignation and forwarded it on to Moore.

“He is a good man,” said Wright. “Personally, I think he tried to do the right thing for the program.”

          Rowan County went 2-8 in Baldridge’s first season at the helm and was 2-9 this past fall, including dropping its final five games. The Vikings were out-scored 127-52 in those games.

This season Rowan County was plagued with injuries to key players, especially late in the year. The Vikings played their final five games without senior running back Kyler Wright, and lost quarterback T.J. Chin and running backs Matt Bowman and Darrell Cross for either most or all of the district playoff game against Greenup County.

“We lost Kyler Wright on the fourth game of the year,” Baldridge said. “We kept having injuries all the way through. … We never did mold together. In our last game we lost T.J. Chin and Matt Bowman on back-to-back series in the first quarter and we came into the game without Darrell Cross. It just steamrolled and we couldn’t get things together. … We struggled right from the beginning with losses and injuries.”

Despite the varsity Vikings’ record, Baldridge is encouraged about the state of the program, especially that of the junior varsity team.

“We have a JV team that beat some pretty good teams went 8-1. The only loss was to Raceland 34-33 and we had two touchdowns called back,” he said. “The program is ready to bust loose.”

Baldridge maintains his support for the team and thinks that the position will be attractive to other coaches since the JV program had such a good season.

“I am 100 percent behind the football team,” Baldridge added. “I have a lot of faith in Mr. Moore. I know he’ll do what is best for the kids. He’ll have their best interest at heart when looking for a new coach. The kids are in good hands with him as superintendent.”

Moore said that he would meet with RCSHS administrators, which is expected to include principal Mark Murray and Wright, on Friday to set up a timeline to fill the position. Moore expects to post the opening next week.

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