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Post Falls’ Lee Decides To Resign

Sat., Feb. 15, 1997

Instead of taking 40-plus kids to the Vandal Football Camp this summer, Jerry Lee will be swinging his golf clubs.

Lee, one of the top high school coaches in the region, handed in his resignation as Post Falls football coach Friday.

“I’ll be in a golf camp in Colorado (this summer),” Lee, 47, quipped. “This has been real hard. I’ve been vacillating for two months. It had to happen now so the administration would have plenty of time to make a good decision.” Lee goes out with his son, Austin, a three-year, two-way starter who signed a letter of intent with Stanford.

Post Falls made the playoffs the past five years under Lee. He took over a floundering program after serving as an assistant for five years. He was a head coach for two years at Sandpoint before moving to Post Falls.

Lee’s overall record was 49-40. The Trojans went 34-18 the last five years, 26-6 the past three years that included two Inland Empire League titles and two state semifinal appearances.

Several factors influenced Lee’s decision.

“First I wanted to be able to visit my son in college,” Lee said. “And there are a lot of other things I want to do, like fly fishing, hunting and golfing.”

IEL coaches will miss Lee.

“What a loss to the league, to lose a quality coach and person like Jerry Lee,” Lake City coach Van Troxel said. “Not only has he had success but he’s very well thought of as a person. He’s been good for kids. They’re going to be hard-pressed to find somebody that will have that success and be good to kids like he was.”

Athletic director Sherrie Patano was saddened to receive Lee’s resignation.

“We’re going to miss him - more than words can say,” she said. “Jerry’s influence is far more reaching than football. His contributions have been schoolwide and communitywide. Fortunately he’ll continue to be at Post Falls as a teacher and continue to influence young peoples’ lives.

“It’s hard to put into words his impact. He’s a guy that just radiates respect.”

Patano expects the district will consider in-district and out-of-district applicants. The problem could be a teaching position for an outside candidate.

“It’s imperative that we begin as soon as possible,” Patano said. “We feel we have a tremendous staff and we want to keep things going.”

Lee said none of his assistants have expressed an interest in the job.

“But there are a lot of guys on the staff that could do it,” he said.

Lee will miss coaching with his friends.

“That’s going to be hard to deal with,” Lee said.

He’s confident that a smooth transition will take place.

“Whoever the head coach will be, everybody on my staff will support the situation,” Lee said. “There won’t be any backbiting. They were all supportive of me.”

Lee, a Coeur d’Alene resident, also wants to squelch any rumors before they start. He’s not interested in the CdA job, which opened this week when Bill Anderson resigned because of health concerns.

“If I was going to coach next year it would be at Post Falls,” Lee said. “I’m a Trojan.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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