The head football coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Fla.) has resigned, citing the emotional toll of continuing at the school after the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018.
As reported by ESPN, Stoneman Douglas football coach Willis May felt he could no longer repress the hurt and discomfort of continuing at the school while two of his closest friends — former athletic director Chris Hixon and former assistant coach Aaron Feis — were no longer there.
“I walk into my office every day, and Aaron Feis’ office is right next to me, Chris Hixon’s office is right next to me, and I miss those guys with all my heart every day,” May told ESPN. “It’s sad going to work every day because it hurts so bad to be without them. It’s been a year and it hasn’t gotten any better, so I need a change for me; I need it for my health.
“(The players) know. They feel sorry for me, and they know how much I miss Coach Feis and Coach Hixon, that I’m in that office all day by myself. They understand that they’ve been family for me, but I need this for my heart.”
According to the ESPN report, May is expected to move into a new coaching role at a school in the Fort Myers area, near his parents. As part of the new position, his father will literally be able to attend team practices, helping May build an even stronger bridge to his parents.
“One thing, if we’ve learned anything in the last year, you better love the ones you got because you don’t know how long you’re going to be here.”