After 23 years as a football coach at Collinwood including the last 13 years as head football coach, Mike Statom is leaving the small Wayne County school.
Statom is headed across the border to Deshler (AL) high school and will join friend Jake Linville's staff at the Alabama power.
He will be the head middle school coach at Deshler and an assistant on Linville's staff.
The Tigers are coming off a 8-4 record and made the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
"This is a very bittersweet decision that my wife and I prayed about,"
"Our time at Collinwood has been great, I really love the people and I couldn't ask for a better community that supports their team like Collinwood but we felt like God was opening their door for us for a reason."
Statom took over the program at Collinwood in 2001 and complied a 97-61 record and led the Trojans to nine Class 1A playoff appearances (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012).
The Trojans are coming off a injury filled 2-8 season in 2013.
"I'm happy for Mike," Collinwood Athletic Director Brian Crews said. "He has transformed our football program and he has done so much not just for our school but for the school system."
"I can't blame him for leaving because it's a great opportunity for his family and we wish him the best."
Besides his responsibilities at Deshler, Statom also serves as the Interim Youth Minister at Grace Life Church in nearby Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
His wife Cindy also has gotten a teaching job as well at Deshler.
"Being able to continue God's work at the church and Cindy getting a job was definitely a big reason to go down there and we felt like the timing was right,"
Linville was the head coach at Tipton Rosemark in Memphis back in 2009 and was elevated to head coach at Deshler in May after the sudden resignation of longtime Tiger coach John Mothershed.
In 19 years as head coach at Deshler, Mothershed led the Tigers to a 201-53 record and back to back Class 4A state titles in 1998 and 1999 and made the playoffs all 19 years.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to work with Jake and be in a community that is so football crazy." Statom said.
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