Saying it was just time, Foothill High School football coach Matt Sweeney stepped down Tuesday after 31 years of coaching on the gridiron.
"I'm in a place where I feel I just don't have the energy to keep giving to the program," Sweeney said. "I was getting to the point where I was thinking about cutting corners and that's not fair to the guys."
Being a coach as successful as Sweeney is not a 9-to-5 job. During the season, following Friday night games, Sweeney was back in his office at Foothill watching film at 4:30 a.m.
"I just wanted to give us the best chance to win," he said.
Sweeney coached Foothill to a 7-3 regular season in 2017. The Falcons earned an opening-round win over James Logan in the North Coast Section tournament before their season came to an end with a second-round loss to San Leandro.
Sweeney had the feeling he was close to stepping down roughly eight years ago, but it wasn't until about midway through this season where the feeling became so strong that he needed to act on it.
"I told my wife I wanted to wait until the holidays were over to see if I felt any different," Sweeney said. "I have to be honest, this might have been the most relaxed holidays I have ever had because I knew it was time to step down."
It was also during the holidays that Sweeney's wife Trish knew he was serious.
"I told Trish I wanted my own set of golf clubs for Christmas," Sweeney said with a laugh. "I have never had my own set before, so we went out and got them. She looked at me and said, 'Now I know you are stepping down.'"
Sweeney also coaches the Foothill softball team and plans to remain in that position going forward. The Falcons (26-4) won the NCS championship last season.