Mike Reardon is retiring after 42 years as a football coach. He led Mesquite to a 9-3 record this year and a berth in the 5A-I quarterfinals.
Reardon had been at Mesquite for the past four years. He won a state title with Saguaro in 2006 before taking over the Wildcats' program. Reardon was a head football coach for 20 seasons.
"I hadn't been thinking about it because we were too busy coaching football," Reardon said. "But I thought about it logically (after the season), and it's time to go. We ended with a good season, and I'd rather go out a year early than a year late."
Reardon teaches at Mesquite but said he will stop at the end of the semester. He doesn't want to infringe on the new coach's territory when the Mesquite administration makes its new hire.
Reardon said he became emotional when telling his players of his decision.
"We like to think we're tougher than we are," Reardon said. "When it came down to it, it was very difficult."
Reardon said he will definitely take an entire year off, but may return down the line as an assistant or a coach at a lower level.
For now, he plans on traveling with his wife, playing plenty of golf, and sitting in the stands at other football games next year.
"I'm going to watch everybody else in the city and criticize the hell out of them," Reardon said.