Howard head varsity football coach Bruce Strunk has stepped down from his position after nine seasons.
Strunk, who led the Lions to the 4A state championship game in 2015 and semifinal appearances in 2014 and 2016, went 66-24 in county play and 73-29 overall in nine seasons with six playoff appearances.
“I can confirm that I am stepping down as the head varsity football coach at Howard High School,” Strunk said. “We’ve had a great nine years with our program and it’s time for somebody else to take the reins.”
Strunk would not elaborate on why he has stepped down at this time. Lions athletic and activities manager Michael Duffy did not say who will replace Strunk and that the school will follow the policies and procedures with regards to hiring of coaches.
“He felt that it was the right time and place for him, but the impact he has made on this school is immense,” Duffy said. “Obviously he was the face of the football program and he brought a mentality and a mindset for our entire school and has helped the growth of our athletic program as a whole. I think his impact cannot be underestimated.”
Strunk has led Howard to each of the last three county and 4A North regional titles, and the Lions have made the playoffs in each of the last four years. None of his teams had a losing record.
“There’s a lot of positives. The hard work that the young men have put in on a daily basis and the grind, just the extra stuff that the kids are doing — that shined more for me than the playoff stuff,” Strunk said. “The playoffs were great but the kids can say with hard work, this is what happens. It validates everything that you’re teaching the kids.”
Strunk will remain a physical educator at the school, a position he has held for nine years. He has coached high school football for 27 years and said he does not have any current plans to coach elsewhere.
“I just made one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make and I’ve got to deal with my decision right now. I have no other plans right now. I’ve put a lot into the last nine years and so has my staff, so I couldn’t even think about being somewhere else right now.”