RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Even after finishing the 2017 season 11-2 with a loss to Highland Springs in the VHSL Class 5B regional final, the Hermitage Panthers’ biggest loss of the year is the resignation of their long-time head coach.
Wednesday afternoon, Hermitage High School confirmed with 8News that Patrick Kane is stepping down as head coach of the football program after 17 seasons. Once he was hired in 2001, Kane produced a 6-2 debut season that started his run to becoming the winningest head coach in the program’s history, finishing 10 seasons with 10 or more wins, and building the Panthers into a powerhouse spanning nearly two decades in central Virginia.
The school’s athletic director Chris Rollison tells 8News Kane submitted his letter of resignation Wednesday morning and later told the team he was stepping down during an afternoon study hall period.
“It was emotional, it was sad and it was shocking,” says Rollison when recalling his heartfelt conversation with Kane Wednesday morning, “any time this happens it is difficult, but we must move on.”
8News spoke with Kane Wednesday afternoon about his rationale for the decision.
He said that he felt his time as a coach at the school had run its course, and for the program to get better, something needed to change.
“The time was right for me,” Kane said. “I wanted to put Hermitage first.”
When asked why he made the decision now, Kane said he wanted to give the school the best opportunity possible to find a replacement.
“I wanted to make sure Hermitage could be set to continue and be successful,” he said.
The school will process Kane’s resignation letter to post the job opening as soon as possible. Rollison said he hopes to have the head football coach position filled by spring workouts in 2018. Until then, assistant coaches will work together to lead the football program during the search.