The Jon Betschart era at Golden Valley is over after just three years.
Betschart was fired as the Golden Valley football coach earlier this week.
"We are going to move forward with new leadership," Golden Valley principal Craig Chavez said. "We recognize all the hard work Jon put in to help make the program what it is and we want to build on our past success."
Chavez wouldn't go into why the decision was made, but the results on the field didn't help Betschart's case.
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Betschart led Golden Valley to a 5-5 record in his first season. However, Golden Valley compiled a 4-16 record the last two years, including 3-7 this season. Golden Valley gave up an average of 61 points in their five Central California Conference losses.
"It has been decided that I have been relieved of duties of head football coach," Betschart said in a statement e-mailed to the Sun-Star. "The upcoming senior class at Golden Valley is the first freshman class that I had the pleasure of working with. They are a strong nucleus for the next year and I will work with them in the weight room to the best of my ability this spring as their sixth period teacher.
"The last two and half years have made me a better coach and teacher. I appreciate and am thankful for the opportunity I was given."
Betschart was hired after former coach Dennis Stubbs departed for Los Banos.
Golden Valley opened a national search in an attempt to replace Stubbs, but had four candidates turn down the job.
Betschart came to GV from Hilmar, where he was the junior varsity head coach.
"I do applaud Jon Betschart for stepping into a situation three years ago and taking over a challenge that many others were not willing to do," Chavez said. "I commend him for that."
After Stubbs left, many of the Golden Valley assistants left. Some followed Stubbs to Los Banos and others went to Buhach Colony.
"He inherited a program that lacked experienced returning coaches, lacked depth and lacked the quality athletes other programs have," said a person close to the program, speaking anonymously. "He was hamstrung by that.
"It wasn't that he didn't put in the effort. He just figured he'd coach harder. It was almost over-effort and that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, even the kids. He had his way of doing things. It was either Jon's way or no way, and I guess that was his downfall."
Chavez said there is no timeline in place for finding a new coach.
One name that is bound to be floated around is Stubbs, who turned the young program into a Central California Conference power.
However, it may be tough pulling Stubbs away from Los Banos now that he has the program on an upswing.
Former Merced defensive coordinator Jake Messina was offered the job following Stubbs' departure, but turned down the position.
Since then, Messina has expressed interest in the coaching position.
The biggest obstacle Golden Valley may have is finding an open teaching position to bring in an off-campus coach.
If Golden Valley's search stays on campus, wrestling coach Chopper Mello may be a potential candidate. Mello didn't coach this past season, but has a long history with the football program.