Tiger coach resigns

WAYNESFIELD — Waynesfield-Goshen Tiger varsity football coach — the most successful coach in the school’s history — resigned Monday, simply saying “it was time.”

Waynesfield-Goshen Schools Board of Education members unanimously elected to accept Gary Spencer’s resignation at Monday’s board meeting.

“It was just time to move on,” Spencer said. “It was a fun ride. I’ll coach again someday but I don’t know when or where. My father taught me that when you start something you want to make it better than when you got there. I think we did that.”

Superintendent Chris Pfister requested Spencer to attend the board meeting, and board members formally recognized his accomplishments with a plaque. In his superintendent’s report, Pfister said he had asked Spencer to reconsider, but he would not.

“He said that when it was not fun anymore he would walk away, and it is time,” Pfister said, reading from the report.

Spencer steps down after taking over a program that had a dismal history and had only managed a 177-346 won-lost record before Spencer guided the team to a 56-28 record in his eight years.

After making the playoffs once in their 58-year history, Spencer’s teams made the playoffs in four of the eight years and were fighting for a playoff spot through the final game of the regular season in the other four years.

Under Spencer’s tenure, the team won Northwest Central Conference championships in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011, and qualified for the state playoffs in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2012.

Spencer’s resignation comes on the heels if tumultuous season, with plenty of fans publicly complaining from the stands during games. Temper’s reached a peak Oct. 19, when an incident resulted in an investigation into an assault committed against Spencer during a football game with Patrick Henry.

According to a report made Oct. 23 with the Waynesfield Police Department, the department received a call from Waynesfield-Goshen High School Principal T.J. Winkler concerning the incident. According to the police report, the police department received a call Tuesday from Waynesfield-Goshen High School Principal T.J. Winkler concerning an incident “involving a student athlete who kicked the coach in the head.”

The altercation occurred between Spencer and Waynesfield-Goshen High School junior and football player Jeron Hennon. The incident was observed by several witnesses, including a reporter from the Wapakoneta Daily News.

Prior to the altercation, Spencer had been addressing Hennon on the sidelines about his tackling on the field and that was what apparently triggered the altercation.

Police Chief Nathan Motter said the case has been forwarded to the Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

However, Spencer insisted the issue had nothing to do with his resignation and has expressed no interest in having charges pressed against Hennon.

Several board members expressed their satisfaction to Spencer of his performance with kind words and hand shakes.

“He’s a great citizen in this community,” Tadd Turner said.

Prosecuting Attorney Edwin Pierce was not in the office to comment on the status of the charges against Hennon.