After a short stint in Florida, Baltimore native Lance Clelland returned to Maryland in 2011 to coach the South River football team citing the opportunity to be closer to family.
The McDonogh graduate again cited family on Thursday when he announced plans to leave the Seahawks' program to become a teacher and football coach at St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Va.
“I am both honored and humbled to become the next head football coach at St. Christopher's School,” Clelland, 34, said in a statement. “St. Christopher's is a special community made up of exceptional people. It will be exciting to continue to build upon the excellent foundation that has been laid in the football program.
Clelland and his wife, Lauren, have three children — Lorelei (7 years old), Lance (5) and Lawson (2).
“The opportunity to bring my family to St. Christopher's ... is tremendous,” he said.
South River athletic director David Klingel confirmed Clelland's decision in a letter posted on South River's website.
“We are extremely disappointed with the news, but also wish Coach Clelland and his family the best in the next chapter of their lives,” Klingel wrote. “He has established a great positive image of our football program and we are grateful for his service to the school and football program.”
An All-Metro offensive lineman at McDonogh in 1996, Clelland played at Northwestern, spent a preseason with the Ravens and played two years of arena football in Philadelphia.
He then spent six years as an assistant coach at McDonogh before taking over the football program at Meade in 2008. He moved to Florida to coach in 2010 before taking the job at South River.
“When that job came open, I immediately leapt at it,” Clelland told The Baltimore Sun in 2011.
The Seahawks went 5-5 last season and Clelland was 19-13 overall in three seasons. The school plans to take applications for the head coaching position until April 26, Klingel said.