ISHPEMING - A desire to spend more time with his family has prompted Jon Beckman to resign as head coach of the Westwood High School varsity football team.
"It's a very tough decision," the WHS athletic director said Monday. "(But) I have three boys (Nathan, 11; Zachary, 8; and Andrew, 1). That lends itself for my wife (Sara) being alone with them three months of the year during football season.
"I leave (for school) in the morning before they're up and get home at night after they're in bed.
"That's not what I want to do. I want to be more involved with what my kids are doing," added Beckman, 38.
The football position has been posted internally and will be made available externally "in the next couple of days," he said.
The Negaunee native and 1992 Negaunee High School graduate has served as the Patriots' head coach for two seasons, going 9-9 overall.
Prior to that, he was a WHS varsity assistant coach for 11 seasons.
Beckman noted as the Westwood A.D., he spends almost every weeknight in the school gym during basketball season, as well.
"It's hard to give up something (coaching) you enjoy and have a passion for," Beckman said. "It'll be different. But it's really a family decision."
He said he enjoyed "every part of coaching" save for the time he spent away from his family.
Beckman added being a part of four WHS teams that made the playoffs "bring great memories."
"So does beating Negaunee (35-14) in 2011. That holds a special place with me," he said.
The A.D. won't rule out returning to the post sometime down the road.
"But at this point, that's not what needs to happen for my family," he said.
Beckman said he'd like to have a new coach in place as close to the first week of April as possible.
"That's so the new coach can make sure the program is moving forward and can plan for summer camps," he said.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.