In this 2015 file photo, Cerro Gordo-Bement coach Andy Kerley talks to senior starting quarterback Dalton Woolridge during practice.

Cerro Gordo-Bement's Andy Kerley wanted to spend more time focusing on other things.

Kerley voluntarily resigned as football coach last week after seven years with the program where he accumulated four playoff berths and a 42-28 record.

This past season, the Broncos went 3-6.

“I think at this time, it's probably best for me and my family and the program for a different direction,” Kerley said. “It wasn't anything that the administration approached me about it. It was just something I thought throughout the season and at the end of the season, it was best for everyone involved at this time.”

Kerley said he's stepping away for a number of reasons, but he underscored that the job had become increasingly strenuous.

“It's a situation where in a small school, it's not just football,” Kerley said. “It's the weight room, changing the practice fields and fundraising. It's a 12-month around the clock kind of deal and I kind of wanted to get off the hamster wheel a little.”

“Everybody says when it's time, it's time and you'll know it. I knew it this year.”

Kerley's coaching career stretches back 18 years — first assisting Mahomet-Seymour and Clinton and later becoming head coach at Shelbyville for one season before arriving at Cerro Gordo.

Throughout that time, Kerley has seen the offseason turn into a marathon -- a trend he doesn't support.

“I think the offseason is the thing that's changed the most,” Kerley said. “When I was a senior in high school, we thought we'd advance because we would lift in June and July. Now, the better programs out there literally start on Monday after they lose in the playoffs. The grind has become this term that coaches hold up with pride. They spend all this time on football and I don't think it's doing our sport any good, quite honestly.

“If you look at numbers across the state, they're down. It's because we're in a arms race for time and we're driving kids away. To be competitive these days, I think to a degree that's what you need to do. At the same time, I don't think it's the right thing to do.”

What's the next step for Kerley then?

At least for the moment, he still teach social studies and driver's ed at Cerro Gordo. His return to football is unclear.

“I don't have any intentions of being anywhere else next year unless something comes up and it's a good opportunity for me and my family,” Kerley said. “More than likely, I'll be here and maybe just sit out the year and see if that gets the juices flowing again.”

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