The head man of the Big Reds for eight seasons, he lead the team to a 78-15 record during his tenure. In a school consistently filled with talent, the Reds have a chance to be a contender every year, so many are questioning his decision. Having spent some time around Tony, his players and the program at Muskegon, I am not one of those people.
Don't get me wrong, the recruits, coaches and parents I've come across at Muskegon have all been great. I've loved getting to know Ronald and Corey Johnson, Chris Crawford and the rest of the college prospects who have come through their halls. Lord know West Michigan can sometimes be a boring recruiting scene and MHS is one of the places that keeps in interesting.
That said, the school presents a unique set of challenges for a head football coach. Any school who has a number of high profile college prospects does. There is a lot to deal with: parents, coaches, boosters, and yes, the media (although I'd like to think I'm not such a pain to deal with).
There is also a lot of pressure going along with that. With the amount of speed and athleticism coming through the program, anything less than a deep playoff run is unacceptable at Muskegon. All of that, in addition to teaching, having a family and having a life, well, it catches up to you and I'm sure Tony Annese is a tired man.
I'm certain he will miss it and I have a strong suspicion we will hear his name surface in the football world again soon, maybe even at the college level.
For now, I feel a certain sense of relief for Coach Annese and I am hoping that the next head man at Muskegon will do as good a job with those young men as he did.