Southern Lee High School head football coach Mike McClure is stepping down after three seasons at the school, Principal Molly Poston announced today.

McClure, who took over the program in January 2020, has stepped down as head coach effective immediately but will continue to teach at the high school through the end of the fall semester.

According to Poston, McClure is stepping away from coaching and teaching “to pursue other career interests and spend more time with family.”

“Coach McClure is grateful for the opportunities provided by Southern Lee, Sanford and Lee County as a whole,” Poston said. “He is most proud of successfully guiding the Cavalier program through the pandemic challenges and emerging as a growing, committed, driven and cohesive program.”

In McClure’s three seasons at Southern Lee (including the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season), the Cavaliers went 3-23 overall. The team finished 1-9 this season, though four of those losses were by a touchdown or less, including a tough 26-22 loss to a superior Lee County team in the annual Brick City Bowl on Oct. 28.

In announcing his decision to his players, McClure re-assured them that they are “stronger, more disciplined and more resilient young student athletes as a result of their work on and off the field as Cavaliers.” According to Poston, he encouraged the athletes  to continue to support one another and to think of the coming changes as opportunities rather than challenges.

“He reminds his players that the foundation for your success has been laid,” she said. “Now is the time to build upon it.”

Southern Lee will begin the process to find a new head coach immediately.