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Finley resigns as Victoria East football coach

By MIKE FORMAN
Nov. 28, 2011 at 5:28 a.m.

Victoria East High School head football coach Mickey Finley disputes where the line of scrimmage should be after a penalty was called during the Titans scrimmage with Bay City in August. Finley resigned on Monday.

MICKEY FINLEY FILE

Head Coach: 34 years

Schools: Klondike, Comanche, Iraan, Cuero, Arlington High, Cleburne, Schulenburg, Victoria Memorial, Victoria East

Overall Record: 221-159-6

Record at Memorial: 12-19, one playoff appearance

Record at Victoria East: 18-7, two playoff appearances

Mickey Finley's nearly four-decade coaching career apparently has come to an end.

He resigned Monday as the head football coach at Victoria East High School after two seasons.

Finley's resignation was announced in a statement released by the Victoria school district and is effective immediately.

"I get to do some other things," Finley said. "Right now, we're looking for a place to retire."

Finley, 60, said he and wife, Patty, are considering Cuero, where he was the athletic director and head football coach from 1992 to 1998 and led the Gobblers to two state final appearances.

He and Patty plan to spend time with sons Clint and Joe Jon, who are coaching at Los Fresnos High School, and their grandchildren.

Finley is also looking forward to fishing and playing golf.

"I need to relax," he said. "Coaching has become a year-round job. You don't get any time off. I want to allow my head to clear a little bit. Whenever I want to, I can get in my car and do some different things."

Finley was coaching at Schulenburg before being hired to became the Victoria school district athletic director and head football coach at Memorial in February of 2007.

He coached at Memorial for three seasons, where he had a 12-19 record that included one playoff appearance before the school closed and Victoria East and Victoria West opened in 2010.

Finley had planned to become the school district's athletic director when the new high schools opened, but decided he wanted to continue coaching. He chose to become the head football coach at East in December 2009.

Finley led the Titans to the District 30-4A championship and Class 4A, Division I regional playoffs in their first season before losing to eventual state champion Lake Travis. They finished with an 11-2 record that season.

Finley was selected as the Coach of the Year on the Advocate's all-area team.

East went 7-5 this season and finished second in district. The Titans lost to Weslaco East in the Division I area playoffs.

"The kids were great," Finley said. "They worked hard and got a lot accomplished. What they did in two years at a brand new school is pretty unique. I think from what people were saying, we exceeded expectations and everything."

Bob Moore, superintendent of the Victoria school district, recommended hiring Finley for the Memorial job and praised his tenure with the district.

"When we brought Mickey Finley to Victoria, we knew he had a history of creating winning football programs," Moore said in the school district's release. "He laid the framework for a strong program at Victoria East High School, and we wish him well in the future."

Ralph Escalona, athletic director of the Victoria school district, said the district should begin advertising for Finley's replacement sometime this week.

Escalona said he expects a committee will be formed and hopes to hire a new coach as soon as possible.

"We'll be looking for the person who is the best fit for the job," Escalona said. "We hope to have someone in here by January so he can go through offseason with the kids. The sooner we get started, the sooner we can get a new coach in here."

Finley's head coaching stops include Klondike, Comanche, Iraan, Cuero, Arlington High, Cleburne, Schulenburg, Victoria Memorial and Victoria East.

Finley admits the toughest part of not coaching will come when two-a-days begin.

"I don't think I will," Finley said when asked if he might change his mind and seek another coaching job. "I've been doing it for a long time. My plan right now is to retire. I don't know what I'll do when next August rolls around and practices start."

FOR MORE

-Fans and boosters react to Finley's resignation

-COLUMN: Finley set standard for winning at Victoria East

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