Chad Henry confirmed Thursday he will not return as head football coach at Mission Prep next season.
After seven seasons at the helm, Henry said he has stepped down and will take an offensive coordinator position at Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, New Jersey.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make in a long time,” Henry said in a phone interview.
Henry said he believes Mission Prep will move from 11-man to 8-man varsity football next season due to dwindling participation numbers, but he added that move did not factor into his decision to leave the program. Calls to Mission Prep athletic director Vic Ecklund to confirm Henry’s speculation of a move to 8-man football were not immediately returned.
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“We have been thinking about a new direction as a family for a while,” Henry said. “For me, it wasn’t a football decision to leave.”
Henry said some of the reasons for the decision included a chance to rejoin former Mission Prep coach and New York Giants offensive lineman Richie Seubert, the head coach at Watchung High, and to shrink the distance between his wife, who is originally from Croatia, and her family back home.
“Overall, it was a big positive for us,” Henry said.
Since making his decision around Thanksgiving, Henry said he has received nothing but support from those affiliated with Mission Prep.
“Everyone has been wanting to do anything to help. It has been an amazing experience here,” Henry said.
The Cal Poly graduate and former quarterback on the Mustangs football team said he has already received phone calls from other coaches in the area to inquire about the job.
Henry, who finishes his tenure with an 88-27 overall record and a Northern League title in 2015, plans to stay with Mission Prep though the school year and coach in the FCA All-Star Football Classic in early June. His wife and two children plan to leave for New Jersey on June 4.