Darlington steps down at Valdosta - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Darlington steps down at Valdosta

November 14, 2005

Valdosta - The focus this football season at Valdosta High hasn't been so much on what the Wildcats did on the field.

 But what would happen off the field in the offseason.

On the Monday following their playoff loss at Camden County,  Rick Darlington turned in his resignation after only three seasons.

WALB News Ten Sports was unable to speak with coach Darlington this season about why he is stepping down.

Valdosta High principal Brett Stanton and the Valdosta Touchdown Club both issued statements thanking coach Darlington for his efforts and wishing him well in the future.

In three years, Rick Darlington was 26-14 with one region title and he took the Wildcats to the state championship game where they lost to Camden County in his first season.

But several sources say that Darlington's problems in Valdosta were more off the field than on.

The Georgia High School Association fined him $500 for allowing his 11-year old son to practice with high school age players last spring.

Darlington is rumored to be headed back to Florida, possibly his former job at Apopka.

But a source close to the coach says that is not likely to happen since returning to Florida would mean a substantial pay cut.

The source says that Darlington may be interested in applying for the Worth County job.

No word on when the search for a new head coach will begin at Valdosta High.

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