St. Mary's Best resigns as AD, effective July 1

Ex-Saints football coach taking position in sales

May 08, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Brad Best has resigned as athletic director at St. Mary's High in Annapolis, effective July 1, to take a sales representative job with the Rydell/All-American football equipment company.

Economic factors played a major role in his decision to make a career change.

The announcement came on the heels of Best stepping down in February as the Saints' head foot ball coach after 10 seasons and a 59-41 (.590) record. His increasing duties as athletic director, a job he has held for five years, caused his football resignation.

Best, who led the Saints' football team to the No. 1-ranking for the first time in school history and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title in 1996, was the boys athletic director for four years.

Directing girls sports was added to his duties when Carmine Blades retired last year.

"They [Rydell] have been pursuing me to work for them the last three years and recently made me an offer I couldn't turn down in the best interests of my family," said Best, who told the school of his decision on Monday.

"Obviously, we're disappointed, because Brad has been great for the school and the kids, and he's a quality teacher, as well," said St. Mary's president Jim Moorhead.

He said a search for Best's successor will be conducted by the principal's office.

As a physical education teacher, Best dramatically improved the school's weight room and conditioning programs. He also contributed to improving the small Catholic school's limited athletic facilities over the last decade.

Out-of-season training programs devised by Best were no coincidence to the football team's rise to prominence.

After telling school officials of his plans, Best informed his students this week. While he said he "won't miss third and long," Best said he "would miss working with the kids at St. Mary's."

"It wasn't an easy decision, and it's something my wife and I have been discussing seriously since last year," said Best. "I had to start thinking about my family and the chance to make more money."

Best and his wife Stephanie have two children, Mitchell, 3, and recently born Grace. His new job will allow him to spend more time with them, because he will be working out of his home.

"People don't understand how much time an athletic director puts in and how much time he can be away from home," said Best.

Best also has to step down as a vice president of the MIAA, because he no longer will be an athletic director.

"I'm sure I will get back into coaching again, possibly at the youth level with my son," said Best, who in 1996 was the only St. Mary's football coach ever named county and Metro Coach of the Year.

Pub Date: 5/08/99

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