Corder era closes at HHS
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
After 11 years, Hartselle High coach Keith Corder has decided to let someone else lead the Tiger wrestling program.
Corder, who turned in a letter of resignation to the Hartselle City Board of Education April 21, wants to spend more time with his wife and daughter.
"For 11 years now, I've gone straight from coaching football to wrestling," Corder said. "It wore on me and I want to spend more time with my family. My family has really sacrificed with me putting so much time into coaching."
Corder had thought about stepping down for two years, but he felt he and the current group of senior wrestlers should go out with a state title.
"We had some unfinished business," Corder said. "We didn't get a state title last year and it's why I came back-to finish the job."
Corder, who led the Tigers to five 5A North Sectional titles and two state championships, will remain at the school as a science teacher and will continue to coach the defensive line for the Tiger football team.
Despite the desire to spend more time with his family, Corder said leaving behind the athletes made his decision a difficult one.
"This was a tough decision because I've got so many good memories of the kids I've coached," Corder said.
"But, if you wait till all the kids you care about are gone, you'll never get out of coaching."
Corder, who compiled a 169-55 match record while head coach at Hartselle, said he knew it was the right time when he realized his desire to spend more time with his wife Courtney and daughter Carly outweighed his desire to coach.
"I've always told my wrestlers if their heart wasn't 100 percent committed to something don't do it," Corder said. "If I stayed on as coach it wouldn't be fair to the team because my heart wouldn't be 100 percent in it. I didn't want to sell the wrestlers short by staying."
Corder feels Hartselle can find a coach who can keep the program at the same level of success the school has enjoyed for the past decade.
"There's no reason they can't hire a top-notch coach and keep this thing rolling," Corder stated.
Corder said the Tigers' mat success came from athletes who were willing to work and parents who went out of their way to support the program.
"I really appreciate all the parents and kids who put so much into our program through the years," Corder said. "That's what I will miss the most. Being around the kids. They've meant so much to me."
Corder hopes some of the lessons his athletes learned from wrestling will benefit them later on in life.
"There are things you can't learn in the classroom," Corder said. "I hope the kids learned some of the things that will make them better fathers and husbands some day."
Corder said he may get back into coaching wrestling someday, but for now he needs to focus on his wife and child.
"It's just the right time to step away from it," Corder said. "My daughter is three-and-a-half now. I want to spend more time with her and watch her grow up."