WHITEHALL — There will be a prominent coaching change at Whitehall this season, as football co-head coach Cliff Sandee resigned recently after completing his second season with the Vikings, a 4-5 campaign.
Sandee will continue to teach and coach wrestling at Whitehall.
Sandee led Whitehall to one playoff berth during his tenure, a 6-3 regular season in 2011 which ended with a first-round playoff loss to Sparta.
Athletic director Greg Russell said Sandee probably would not have coached this year but with the school short on personnel, he agreed to coach the team with his brother, Brent.
“He basically did it for this year, knowing we were kind of in a bind in terms of people,” Russell said. “Cliff was laid off from the classroom last year but was back full-time this year. Coaching another varsity sport full-time and (him and his wife) being a young couple who wants to start a family, it’s tough.”
“He’s really a dynamic guy and we’re going to miss his leadership in that program.”
There had been chatter that Brent Sandee might eventually take over the program from brother Cliff, but Russell said it was unlikely that Brent will be interested in remaining the coach, citing his full-time teaching job at Hudsonville Public Schools near Grand Rapids.
“I’m not sure Brent will be interested,” Russell said. “He drives an hour, and he has two young children himself. I think he came here this year to be with his brother. That worked out, we had no problems there. I don’t think (coaching Whitehall) will be a realistic situation for him.”
Russell said the position will be posted online, as is standard procedure for any school opening, and his goal is to install a new coach by the first of the year.