Fruitland High football coach announces resignation

In 20 seasons as a high school football head coach, Bruce Schlaich compiled an overall record of 152-53.

That’s a winning percentage of nearly 75 percent.

And in the past 12 years as Fruitland High’s coach, Schlaich won 110 of 133 football games, including two state championships and seven consecutive appearances in the state title game.

But numbers weren’t on Schlaich’s mind when he announced his resignation Monday after 35 years of roaming the sidelines as both an assistant and head coach in Idaho and California.

He’d much rather be remembered for the positive influence he had on the many students-athletes who suited up for him on Friday nights.

“It’s more than just football to Bruce,” Fruitland Athletic Director Beth Holt said. “It’s about life. When they leave his program he just wants them to be the best young men they can be.”

During his time as a head coach, Schlaich’s teams won 11 conference championships and state titles in 1996 (Parma), 2006 (Fruitland) and 2010 (Fruitland). Eight teams played in championship games.

“I think that 35 years has been a pretty good run. This isn’t a knee jerk reaction to anything that happened in the last few weeks, it’s been well thought out,” Schlaich said. “Sometimes you get to a point where you feel like you’ve done all you can at a school and I kind of feel like the program is where it needs to be and it’s going to be successful for a long time. In some ways, mission accomplished.”

See Tuesday's Idaho Statesman for more on this story.