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Downey steps down at Archbold


John Downey posted a 222-99 record in 30 years as Archbold's football coach - a record that ranks ninth all-time in Ohio.

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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ARCHBOLD - For John Downey, serving as football coach at Archbold High School was a pleasure - at least it was during the season.

But the desire to step away from the offseason work necessary to build a successful program has led Downey to step down as coach of the Blue Streaks, a position he has held for 30 years.

"I just got tired of the offseason work," Downey said. "It has taken a lot of time away from my family. My wife has taken a back seat to coaching for a lot of years; it's time to move her into the front seat. And away we go."

Downey posted a 222-99

record in 30 years with the Blue Streaks, a mark that ranks 19th among Ohio high school coaches all-time according to the OHSAA. Archbold has won eight Northwest Ohio Athletic League titles under Downey since he took the job in 1979, and his 166 league wins are a league record.

Downey also has led the Blue Streaks to nine state playoff appearances, including a state title in 1988. Archbold also advanced to the state tournament in both of the past two seasons following a five-year absence.

"I have been blessed in many ways," Downey said. "I appreciate that Archbold gave me my first chance to be a head coach, and I appreciate that for 30 years they allowed me to do things my way.

"The last two years, in particular, have been very satisfying. I think the last two teams have set a tone to get the program back on the right track."

Downey will remain as Archbold track coach this year, although he said he will re-evaluate that decision after this season. He also will continue in his role as a guidance counselor at Archbold, where he will have served as a teacher or counselor for 35 years this October.

Downey is a 1967 Napoleon graduate who played on three Wildcat teams that won NWOAL titles (1965-67). He then played at the University of Toledo and was a member of the 35-0 Rocket teams from 1969-71.

Downey admitted that he strongly considered stepping down as football coach after the 2007 season following the graduation of his son, Jack.

"But I thought there were too many new faces [to leave]," Downey said. "I didn't think, with the number of new players and the number of new coaches on the defensive side, that everything was as well prepared as it could be.

"I think this is a good time. I'm leaving with a good group of guys, but I also think there's a good group here in place."

Contact John Wagner at:

or 419-724-6481.

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