As much as Dennis Decker loves being the football coach at Ridley High School, his alma mater, his family comes first.
And with his three children getting older, the 42-year-old decided it was time to step away from the game he loves to spend more time with his family.
Decker confirmed Friday night that he will resign as the Green Raiders’ coach, effective Jan. 4.
“It was tough,” Decker said by phone. “I enjoyed being around the kids. I’ve been around football for 30 years, but my kids are the most important thing in my life and I have to make them my No. 1 priority. My oldest daughter (Madison, 14) is playing field hockey and it was tough to see her games. My son (Cameron, 7) is playing football and my other daughter (Brynn, 4) is starting to get involved in things, too.
“I haven’t been around as much as I’d like and I need to spend more time with them.”
Decker, the 1990 Daily Times Player of the Year and the county record-holder for passing yards in a season, guided the Green Raiders to a 7-5 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the Central League in 2015. That included a 12-0 victory over Interboro in the annual Thanksgiving Day clash with the Bucs.
In seven seasons overall, Decker was 74-24 and 48-14 in the Central League and guided the Green Raiders to three league titles and four trips to the District One Class AAAA playoffs. The Green Raiders’ record the last three seasons was just 21-13, and they missed the District One playoffs in each of the last three yeras.
“I’m going to miss the kids, the life lessons that we taught each other and the smiles they put on my face,” Decker said.
However, he would like to stay involved with football, albeit in a limited capacity.
“I hope to help out a little bit,” Decker said.
As for his successor, that is up to the administration.
“I don’t know what direction they want to go in, but I think anyone on my staff is more than qualified to do the job,” Decker said.