Football

Hiser steps down as PRP football coach

PRP head football coach Jason T. Hiser talks to his players during a time-out. 11 November 2016

PRP head football coach Jason T. Hiser talks to his players during a time-out. 11 November 2016

Jason Hiser announced Friday he has stepped down after eight seasons as the football coach at Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

Hiser, who will turn 37 next week, said he wants to spend more time with his family but wouldn’t rule out a return to coaching in the future.

“I knew the time would be coming to take a step back, and this year it was pulling at me more and more to step down from coaching,” Hiser said. “I’ve never been a husband or a father without also being a football coach. That’s something that is appealing to me.”

Hiser was an assistant at PRP for three seasons before becoming the head coach in 2009, replacing Jason Stinson, and posted a 54-41 record.

PRP athletic director Nick Waddell said Hiser took over a program “dealing with probably the worst tragedy in the state of Kentucky” following the death of sophomore football player Max Gilpin, who fell ill during a 2008 practice and died three days later.

“I thought Jason was my best head coach,” Waddell said. “He took a program that had 36 kids … and took it to a state championship game, something that had never been done here before. He developed a system and a program that has made us competitive with the best in the state of Kentucky.”

Hiser led the Panthers to the final in 2012, when quarterback Spencer Sumpter and wide receiver Taywan Taylor were the stars of a 14-1 squad that lost to Trinity in the Class 6-A championship game.

The Panthers finished 7-5 last year, falling to Male 27-24 in the second round of the 6-A playoffs.

Hiser said he plans to stay at PRP as a teacher.

“This was 100 percent a Jason Hiser decision,” Hiser said. “I made it on my own. I wanted to leave PRP High School knowing that I left the football program in a good place, which I believe it is. … In this crazy business, you don’t always leave on good terms or leave happy. But I will still put on my PRP hoodie today and wear it with pride and satisfaction.”

PRP becomes the fourth Jefferson County Public School in need of a head football coach, joining Eastern, Central and Ballard. Waddell said the school is accepting applications for Hiser’s replacement.

Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and jfrakes@courier-journal.com.