After two successful years at the helm of the Payson High School wrestling program, coach Dave LaMotte is stepping down.
In an April 7 letter to athletic director Dave Bradley, LaMotte wrote, "I am officially resigning the position of head wrestling coach."
According to the former coach, the decision was made "after some serious thought and consideration."
The resignation caught many in the district by surprise, since last season LaMotte guided the Longhorns to the East region championship and a state second-place finish.
A year earlier, in LaMotte's first season as head coach after replacing Dennis Pirch, the Horns finished as region and state runners-up.
Prior to becoming only the second head coach in the history of the Longhorn wrestling program, LaMotte was an assistant under Pirch and a head coach at Gilbert High School.
Known as a tireless worker, a shrewd tactician and a man with tremendous integrity, LaMotte seemed to be the perfect fit to replace Pirch who founded the team in 1973.
In resigning, LaMotte said he was not satisfied with the outcome of the past two seasons and took full responsibility.
A part of his letter of resignation read: "It is my belief that there is a prevailing expectation of society for the high school coach to be all things to all people.
"I also believe that in many cases, the expectations of the parents do not correlate with the commitment of the student/athletes. Dealing with these issues requires a very strong commitment from the coach along with much patience."
LaMotte also wrote that a serious liver disease his son Jeff had contracted played a role in his decision.
"My wife and I spend much of our time researching and studying methods that might assist him in dealing with this issue," he said. "In the near future, more of our time and energy will be needed in regards to this matter."
Jeff LaMotte starred at Payson High School where he was a state wrestling champion.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the relationships developed at Payson with the wrestling, coaching staff and parents," LaMotte said. He has offered to help ease the transition to a new coach when that person is selected.
The resignation does not affect LaMotte's position as a social studies teacher at Payson High School.