After saying less than a month ago that he goes “year to year” and is “still engaged,” Howard said Thursday that, “They deserve a coach in the best frame of mind, and I couldn’t give it to them.” He declined to go into more specifics as to why he was retiring other than to say it was not health related.
Assistant coach and athletic director Chad Mathis will assume the head coaching duties. He declined comment to Ledger-Enquirer.
School superintendent David Lewis said he no indication that Howard would resign.
Davis said what those things were are Howard’s business and he “respects that.”
Howard has been at Columbus since 1984, other than a one-year break when he coached at junior college. He previously coached at Jordan and Kendrick and has won more than 900 games overall.
During his Hall of Fame speech in Cooperstown, Thomas lauded his former coach: “You made me grow up in a hurry,” Thomas said. “Your no-nonsense approach to the game was needed at an early age. Winning was the only option, you preached that. And you made me work for it. … You set my foundation for life. Love you. And I thank you.”