ALTON — Marquette Catholic High School is searching for a new head football coach.
Matt Bucher, the Explorers’ head coach the past two seasons, has resigned to pursue business interests, Marquette director of athletics Sara Ulrich said. The Explorers went 7-3 in 2013 and 5-4 the past season.
“It was a very hard decision for Matt, but it’s a great opportunity for him and he said he couldn’t pass it up,” Ulrich said. “It’s so sad to see him go, but we wish him well.
“He told the football players today,” Ulrich said Friday.
A standout athlete at Marquette and 2003 graduate, Bucher also resigned his position as a business teacher. He will become the financial services director and be involved in business development for a privately held company.
Bucher said in a statement: “I was recently approached by a very close, trusted friend about an excellent job opportunity outside of education. I have decided to accept this position, the demands of which will not allow me to dedicate the time required of a head football coach.
“I believe that to progress and grow as a person, you need to take on new challenges throughout your life. For me, the fear of regret is much greater than the fear of failure. After reflecting on this opportunity, I have realized it is one I simply cannot pass up.
Bucher noted, “I am excited for the chance to use my MBA and practice the business principles I have taught Marquette students the last four years.
“As great of a professional opportunity this new job will be, leaving is bittersweet. I have only positive things to say about my experiences at Marquette, whether it was as a student, a teacher, or a coach. Marquette has blessed me with so many opportunities over the years. My love and support for the school and the Marquette community will not waver one bit.”
Marquette Principal Mike Slaughter said, “We are sad to see Coach Bucher go. “He is a respected business teacher with an MBA. We were lucky to have him as long as we did. He had a bright future as a football coach."
Slaughter added, "As much as we want him to stay, we recognize this is a professional opportunity he cannot realistically pass up. We wish him nothing but the best and thank him for all the time he has given to our students and student-athletes.
“We anticipate making a decision on a successor quickly and a decision will be made in the best interest of the Marquette football program.”
Ulrich said that Marquette will conduct interviews next week for the head coaching vacancy. She also said that assistant coaches Bob Baird and Darrell Angleton will handle the interim coaching duties and coordinate the upcoming summer camps
The new coach will be the 14th in school grid history, dating to 1927. The others are: Doc Coleman (1927-31), Cecil Muellerliele (1932-33), Joe Stephan (1934-39 and 1941-54), Norman Tomlinson (1940), Ron Holtman (1955-65), John Rogers (1966-83), John Waters (1984-93), Slaughter (1994-2002), Geoff Dalton (2003-04), Tom Pagliaro (2005-06), Rick Reinhart (2007), Tim Nelson (2008-12) and Bucher.
The Explorers are scheduled to open their 2015 season on Saturday, Aug. 29, at home against Civic Memorial.