Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Archbishop Shaw head coach Scott Bairnsfather argues a call during the first quarter against 's John Curtis Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in Harvey.

For the first time in 17 years, someone other than Scott Bairnsfather will be coaching the Shaw football team.

Bairnsfather announced to the team Thursday that he is stepping down as football coach.

"I just think it's time," he said. "It's been on my mind and I feel like now is a good time to step away from it and let somebody else take the reins."

Bairnsfather, a 1985 Shaw graduate, took over as head coach at his alma mater in 2001.

"I think it being my alma mater is what made it last this long," Bairnsfather said. "It's always tough to leave the school when you're fortunate enough to be the coach at your own school."

The Eagles finished 1-11 this past season and went 0-6 in Catholic League play. The lone win was a 20-7 victory over Belle Chasse.

"Scott has been an integral part of Archbishop Shaw since the early 1980s as a student, then an assistant coach and then the head coach," Shaw athletic director Tom Alef said. "He's going to be sorely missed by the alumni, by the faculty and many of the friends he's made along the way."

Before coaching at Shaw, Bairnsfather was the head coach at Holy Cross from 1998-2000. He was Shaw's defensive coordinator before that.

Bairnsfather was 87-81 at Shaw, including three consecutive Class 4A state championship game appearances in 2006-08. 

"We are very proud of the things he has accomplished here, especially those back-to-back-to back state championship appearances," Alef said. "He's always had the best interest of every kid who has played for him at heart. I assure you that 100 percent of the kids who played for him can attest to that. So he will be missed."

Alef said the search for Bairnsfather's replacement will begin immediately.

"We are going to try to identify some people who we would like to contact," Alef said. "We will advertise the position. There is no set timetable yet, but we want it to be as soon as possible."

Defensive coordinator Tommy Connors will be the interim head coach until a hire is made.

Bairnsfather, meanwhile, hasn't decided on his next move but hasn't ruled out returning to coaching.

"I'm not sure if I'd like to be a head coach anymore, but I could be an assistant in the future somewhere," he said.

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.