Sprague football coach calls it quits
52-year old Jay Minyard hanging up his whistle to become AD at South Albany HS
In a stunning announcement Saturday, Sprague High’s Jay Minyard revealed that he is stepping down as head football coach of the Olympians to begin a new phase of his life. The plan had been to talk to the team directly on Tuesday, but word of his departure leaked on social media and the coach decided to simply contact the team virtually.
The 52-year old Minyard—who has coached football for 30 years, including 25 years as the head man at four different schools—says he will be taking over as the Athletic Director (Coordinator) at South Albany High School.
“I thought I might end up as an athletic coordinator at the end of my career,” admits Minyard.
“But thought I was still a few years away.”
The new job situation for Minyard opened up at South Albany High School, where he began his head coaching career in 1998 after a successful four years as a defensive back at Western Oregon. He and his wife live in Albany, the coach says, “it seemed the right time to give it a shot.”
After beginning with a bang as coach at South Albany High—where he directed the Rebels (now Red Hawks) to three straight 4A football playoff appearances—Minyard moved on to North Salem for three seasons, followed by another nine at McKay—including one as an assistant to Coach Duane Riddell—and then finally eleven seasons at Sprague with the pandemic season included. All totaled, Minyard’s teams made 16 post season appearances—including two trips to the state quarterfinal round.
In reflecting on his decision to hang up his whistle, Minyard admits he has mixed feelings about it all.
“I’m getting old,” confesses Minyard. “Some days I feel like I am 90! 30 years of coaching… 25 years as a head coach… and teaching the same (weight training/conditioning) classes.”
“It’s been awesome, and I have been a little leery about giving that up, because I really do love it. At this point in my career, I feel like I need a change and some different challenges.”
Sprague Athletic Director Clinton Gertenrich says the search for Minyard’s successor will begin immediately.