High School Football: Rodney Roberts out as Centerville football coach

Citing a desire to reconnect with his family, Rodney Roberts has resigned as the Centerville High School football coach. He informed players and administrators of his decision Thursday.

"To put it in coaching terms, it's time for me to be a better teammate," said Roberts, who succeeded Ron Ullery in the position and led the Elks for three seasons. "It was certainly not the outcome I had planned here when I accepted the job. We have some things going on within our family that's requiring more of my time."

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Roberts and Centerville athletic director Rob Dement insisted there were no other factors in leading to the resignation. A Franklin native who played collegiately at the University of Dayton, Roberts was a head coach the last 21 seasons, including Carlisle, Springboro and Franklin.

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“Rodney’s been coaching a long time and he knows what comes with the expectations here,” Dement said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with our season or where we were.”

Roberts resigned as coach at Franklin to take over at Centerville. The Elks responded with a 10-0 regular season in 2014, but that initial success was fleeting.

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Top seeded, Centerville lost to Lakota West (5-5) in the 2014 playoffs. Centerville is a combined 11-10 since that game and missed the playoffs the last two years. Known for a stingy defense over the years that evolved into a weak spot for the Elks. Greater Western Ohio Conference rival Wayne defeated Centerville 56-17 in 2015 and 45-8 last season.

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“Were we disappointed in the last two years? Yes,” Roberts said. “Where do you point the fingers for that? Me. I’m the guy who’s ultimately responsible. We weren’t good enough the last few years.”

This continues a trend among area football coaches, especially in the GWOC. Last season there were new head coaches at Fairborn, Fairmont and Vandalia-Butler. This coming season Stebbins, West Carrollton, Xenia and now Centerville all will have new head coaches.

“We have some outstanding internal candidates,” Dement said. “We have a process in place and we’re going to get the best football coach hired in as timely a manner as we can. Rodney is as good as they come. He’s salt of the earth. I love being around him and we’re going to miss him.”

Roberts said he might pursue an administrative education position but didn’t see himself being a head coach again.

“I don’t have any regrets and I only have great things to say about Centerville and Centerville football,” Roberts said. “I don’t know what the next chapter is going to bring to me. My head coach window is closed. I don’t think that I have the desire to do that anymore.”

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