North Texas defensive tackles/special teams coach Robert Drake said Sunday he has resigned, effective Jan. 1, and has accepted a teaching/coaching position at Keller Central High School about five minutes from his house.
Drake, who some UNT fans came to blindly loathe because of the two struggling units under his charge, said he received a call from Central High principal David Hinson about six weeks ago concerning a December job opening, likely teaching math (Drake's former teaching subject) and probably helping coach golf. Details, Drake said, aren't worked out.
He spoke to Hinson again after UNT finished the season against Arkansas State on Nov. 29, mulled the offer and later told UNT head coach Todd Dodge he was leaving the staff. Drake has three children ages 9, 8 and 5, and said he couldn't handle the familial stress of travel and hours required to coach Bowl Subdivision football anymore.
"It wasn't a negative thing," he said. "I didn't call anybody. It's pretty rare that [high school] jobs come open in the middle of the year. With my family, it really took its toll. It's not what I thought it would be. I wish we'd won five or six and I could have left on a more pleasant note. My niche is in the high school level, and it's the best place for me."
Drake was recruiting for UNT as late as Thursday and offered Keller Fossil Ridge all-state kicker Chris Boswell a scholarship, Fossil Ridge coach Tony Baccarini said. Next season, Drake said he will be back to coaching high school football either as an assistant or head coach.
Dodge, who didn't answer his phone, said earlier after a 1-11 season he wasn't making any subtractions to his staff unless any coaches chose to leave. He could have two hires pending, Drake's replacement and a possible requested new football-only strength coach, which we reported back on Dec. 6.
"We were together 10 years," Drake said of he and Dodge. "That was the hardest part of doing this."