John Walsh

Guyer head coach John Walsh talks with his team after losing to Austin Westlake 24-0 in the Class 6A Division II title game at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 21 in Arlington.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from Denton ISD Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson.

John Walsh, the only head football coach Guyer has ever known, announced his resignation in an unexpected move late Monday night.

The Wildcats are coming off a 14-2 campaign in 2019 that included a trip to the Class 6A Division II title game — Walsh’s fourth state championship game appearance. In 14 seasons at the helm of Guyer, Walsh compiled a 131-56 record, won 70.1% of his games and claimed two state titles.

Walsh released an exclusive statement to the Denton Record-Chronicle explaining his decision.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time personally and for my family,” Walsh said. “Through these adverse times and changes we must be at our best. I have preached we grow more from failure than we do in prosperity, and I plan to grow during this tough time.”

Walsh said in the statement that he, along with Denton ISD administrators, agreed to “move in different directions.”

“Coach Walsh made the decision that he was no longer going to be the football coach at Guyer,” Denton ISD superintendent Jamie Wilson said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “I greatly appreciate everything he’s done for our program and for Guyer High School. We wish him the best.

“John and his entire family, his coaching staff — they’ve put their heart and soul into that school and that community.”

Walsh took the Wildcats to state title games in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2019, winning championships in 2012 and 2013.

“We appreciate and want to thank John for what he’s done,” Denton ISD athletic director Joey Florence said. “We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Walsh won 10 games or more in eight of his 14 seasons at Guyer. Since 2010, the Wildcats have gone 104-32.

“It is my expectation for our players to be very resilient in this challenging time of change,” Walsh said. “I have all the confidence in you to respond like champions. I walk away respecting the game I lived for, the school I cherish, and most importantly, the young men I love.”

Wilson said that the district has posted the job and will work to fill the position as quickly as possible. He added they will not rush to hire someone, but ideally, would like to name a new head coach within the next 30 days.

Denton ISD is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Wilson said that would not stop them from conducting digital interviews.

“We’re going to continue to move forward even with the coronavirus shutdown,” Wilson said. “We’ll just do it all virtually. I feel like it’s a great opportunity for someone to come in and pick up where coach Walsh and his team of coaches and players left off.

“Frankly, this is a high-profile position. I think we’ll have interest from all across the state. To think with the travel requirements and different things that might be involved, doing things on a digital platform might make a whole lot of sense anyway.”

REECE WADDELL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @ReeceWaddell15.

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