With football practice set to begin in just five weeks, Wayde Keiser knows the timing wasn’t perfect.
But family was more important, prompting Keiser to announce his retirement as Jesuit football coach Monday.
“Thirty years of doing this has taken a toll on my marriage,” he said. “I need to make some changes. I can’t go on at the work pace that I am doing. My marriage is more important to me. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary, and my wife (Leah) and I decided to do this for our marriage.”
A search is already underway for Keiser’s replacement, Athletic Director Dave Moreau said.
“I want to assure everyone connected to the Jesuit football community that we will find the right person to lead our outstanding program,” Moreau said in a statement released by the school.
Keiser spent the past seven seasons at Jesuit, leading the Blue Jays to a 55-27 record. In 2013, they finished 6-6 (2-3 in the Catholic League), reaching the quarterfinals of the Division I select playoffs before losing to St. Augustine.
He also served as an assistant coach at the school in 1988. The 1978 Jesuit graduate was the starting center on the team his senior year.
Keiser admitted the timing of his announcement was challenging. He met with his staff and players Monday to inform them of his decision.
“That was tough,” he said. “I love Jesuit. It raised me, educated me, hired me and allowed me to make a living. I’m 54, so Jesuit has been a part of me for a good part of my life. Today was extremely difficult because of the love I have for the place, as well as the players and the staff and everyone there.”
In addition to serving as head coach, Keiser taught health and physical education and economics.
He led the Blue Jays to the playoffs each season, with the 2007 and ’10 teams earning a share of the District 10-5A championship. In 2011, he guided the Blue Jays to an undefeated regular season as the team won the District 9-5A title.