Howard Stone will not be returning as football coach at Columbia Central High School next season.
After compiling a 25-21 record in four years as the school’s head coach, Stone, who guided the Lions to a Class 5A state runner-up finish in 2012, was notified of his termination on Wednesday.
“I hate it that it ended this way,” said Stone, who spent four seasons as Columbia’s defensive coordinator (2008-11) before being promoted to head coach.
“It was a great eight years,” he added. “We won one state championship, played in two more and won an awful lot of ball games. Most coaches don’t get that opportunity in their careers. I did, and I feel really, really good about that.”
Stone, who led Spring Hill to a 5-5 record in one season as head coach (2006), said that he isn’t exactly sure what his future holds, but the 35-year coaching veteran is certain that he will continue coaching at some point.
“I have to decide some things, but as of 12 o’clock I’ve already had three offers and a lot of people wanting to talk,” Stone said. “It’s indefinite right now because I have a son who is a junior in high school, and I have to take that into consideration also.”
“I’m going to be coaching somewhere in the future,” added Stone. “I’m not sure where or in what position, but I will be coaching in the future.”
Multiple efforts made to reach Columbia Central athletic director Ray Wilson on Thursday were unsuccessful.