TERRE HAUTE —
After compiling a 14-45 record in six seasons at Terre Haute South, football coach Mark Raetz has resigned that post to accept the same job at Northview. The Clay Community School Corporation accepted Raetz as the Knights’ new head coach at Thursday’s board meeting that lasted past the Tribune-Star deadline.
Raetz is taking over a Knights’ program that had won three consecutive Western Indiana Conference championships until going 3-7 last season under George Gettle, who was 68-43 during 11 years at Northview.
“It was definitely a hard decision for me. People at South and Vigo County were very good to me and gave me my first opportunity as a head coach,” Raetz said. “The kids I had were great. Did everything I asked for the last six years. Being a South guy, it was hard to leave.”
Raetz is a 1997 Terre Haute South graduate and the son of former Indiana State coach Dennis Raetz. South went 3-3 against city rival Terre Haute North with Raetz at the helm, but the Braves won only four other games against teams in Class 5A or the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference.
The Braves no longer be in the MIC and will play a Conference Indiana schedule in 2013. The IHSAA will move to six classes in 2013 as well. South will remain a 5A program, and Northview will remain in 4A.
“Some of the changes that are happening right now, not just the conference change, but the addition of another class, I think things are looking up for South. I think those players and coaches have a great reason to be excited,” said Raetz, who inherited a program that had won four games in five years prior to his arrival. “I feel pretty good in saying that the program is better off now when I’m leaving it than it was previously.”
Northview has won seven of the past nine WIC championships, going 56-10 in the conference during Gettle’s tenure as coach.
The Knights also have a 1-11 record in Class 4A postseason play during the past 11 seasons.
“Northview presents a great opportunity. I just felt it was the right time to move on and try a new challenge,” Raetz said. “Northview has a great winning tradition in football. I’ve heard lots of good things about the kids and the players in that community.
“And I think there’s great opportunity there for success, not just on the football field but also in the community and in the school.”
Raetz looks forward to meeting with players as soon as next week.
“There’s some guys on the previous [Northview] staff I’m going to talk to, and there’s some guys I’ll bring in from South. And a couple other new guys I’ve talked to. I think we’ll put together an outstanding staff,” Raetz said.
Raetz looks forward to getting started.
“I’m going to watch a lot of film from last year and hopefully get in next week and start meeting the kids and working with the kids. We’ll kind of determine from there, what fits best for the personnel that we’ll have,” Raetz said.
Northview athletic director Charley Jackson is excited to get a quality coach.
“Very excited,” Jackson said. “He’s an outstanding young man. Outstanding teacher. I think the community will like him. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”