West Hall High is looking for a new football coach after Spartans athletics director Scott Justus announced Monday that Mike Newton would not return for his sixth season in 2012.
According to Justus, the decision to make the change in the football program was made in a meeting with Newton and school principal Greg Williams on Nov. 15.
In five seasons, Newton finished with a 13-37 record and went 2-8 in 2011.
"Dr. Williams and I felt like it was time to go in a different direction," said Justus, who has opened up the search for a new coach to all applicants. "Coach Newton is a knowledgeable guy and a great person. We just felt we needed to make the change to get our base back, build our numbers and get the parents all involved."
Newton met with players Monday morning to discuss the decision made by the school administration.
He plans to remain at the school as a teacher for the reminder of the school year and make a decision for the future based on the what's in the best interest of his family.
Justus said it's Newton's decision whether he stays at the school in the future as a teacher.
"It's difficult to be told you're going to be replaced, but that's their choice," Newton said. "I know I gave it everything I had coaching football and had a great coaching staff and great kids.
"I'm really going to miss working with the players."
Williams said that no timeline will be placed on hiring a replacement. He said there will be an exhaustive search to find the best coach for the program, which could be either an internal or external hire.
"We're looking for a top-notch teacher and a top-notch coach," Williams said. "We're going to take our time to make sure we find the right person for the job."
Newton's son Chandler, a sophomore, was the starting quarterback for West Hall this season, throwing for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The former coach said his son probably wouldn't want to play football for West Hall any longer without his father as head coach, but said the family isn't "shopping around" Chandler to other schools to play football.
Chandler is also a left-handed pitcher for the West Hall baseball program.
"He's a kid that loves both sports," Mike Newton said.
Mike Newton added there's a possibility he'll pursue another head coaching or assistant coaching position, depending on his family's decision and the job market.
West Hall has had a great deal of turnover in its football program with five different head coaches since 2002.
Newton was the longest-serving coach in the position since Tim Marchman, who coached the Spartans from 1993 to 2002, before retiring at East Hall.