Bob Ladouceur, the man behind one of the greatest high school football dynasties in American history, the man who ESPN once deemed "the greatest prep football coache of all time," has stepped down as head coach of De Le Salle's football program in Concord, Calif.
Over the 34 years Ladouceur led the team, the De La Salle Spartans had 399 wins with 20 undefeated seasons and countless local, state and national championships. During one stunning streak from 1992 to 2003, Ladouceur didn't lose a singe game.
Last year, the team finished the season rated the best high school football program in the country.
In an announcement made on Friday at the school's auditorium, Ladouceur told the San Jose Mercury News that this "is a good time [to step down]."
A number of notable figures praised Ladouceur's long career.
"He knows what each kid can give him, and he's relentless in getting that out of them," De La Salle defensive line coach Terry Eidson told the Contra Costa Times. "That's his greatest strength as a coach. He doesn't just give up and say, 'This is not going to be the year.' He keeps pushing until they reach their potential."
"He's one of the all-time great Bay Area coaches, and we've had a lot of good ones," legendary broadcaster and former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden explained to the Mercury News. "You think of baseball with Tony La Russa. You think of the Bill Walshes, the Don Nelsons, Jim Harbaugh. This guy is right up with them and you can make the case that of all the coaches in the Bay Area of all time, he's the best."
The 58-year-old Ladouceur, who also teaches religious studies at the Catholic all-boys school, had little coaching experience when he started leading the team as a 25-year-old in 1979.
Offensive line coach Justin Alumbaugh will assume head coaching duties at the school.
An upcoming Hollywood film about Ladouceur, based on Neil Hayes's book "When The Game Stands Tall," is currently in production.Check out this video about Ladouceur's legacy at De La Salle: