Dacula head football coach Jared Zito announced his resignation Monday morning after two seasons leading the Falcons.
Zito had an up-and-down tenure record-wise at Dacula, beginning with strong debut season in 2011. He had a 9-4 record in his first season and took a veteran team to the Class AAAAA quarterfinals. With an inexperienced team this season, Zito went 1-9 in one of the state's toughest regions, 8-AAAAAA.
"The visions, goals and beliefs for the football program of the current administration are different than the ones I agreed to when initially hired by (former principal) Donnie Nutt," Zito said Monday. "I have not applied, interviewed or accepted any other jobs. I plan to remain at Dacula as a member of the faculty as a teacher unless another opportunity presents itself."
Zito took the Dacula job when longtime head coach and athletic director Kevin Maloof announced he was retiring for health reasons. Maloof, who coached the team from 1991 to 2010, went 151-77 with 12 playoff appearances during his tenure.
Zito came to Dacula after leading North Forsyth to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010. His first team there went 1-9, but he also inherited a team that was 1-9 in 2006.
The decision to step down at Dacula wasn't easy, the coach said.
"Dacula is a great place," Zito said. "It is a difficult day."
November 26, 2012
Dear Dr. Long:
During my first interview two years ago with former Principal Donnie Nutt we established a very clear understanding of the vision for the Dacula Football Program. It was to be more than just a football team playing games on Friday nights, but a program built to be an integral part of the school and community. It was to be a program where we supported the mission and goals of the school and developed young people into individuals of honor and integrity. It was to be a program where character and leadership skills were built as well as a program where the team gave back to the community and were seen as positive influences. I was to develop an outreach program with the youth and volunteer youth coaches, develop positive relationships with the feeder schools and develop a program where the coaching staff consisted of high integrity individuals that would be involved with the team and be community leaders. I was to lead the efforts of securing opportunities for our players to play in college and most of all, I was expected to run a first class program and fight for the things I needed to make the program respected throughout the state. If you examine the body of work that our staff and I have instilled since my arrival at Dacula you will find countless demonstrated examples of these items and it is very evident that our program remains in line with the only vision articulated to me at any time during my tenure as the head football coach at Dacula High School.
When I began at Dacula I believed this was my dream job and my goal was to stay here the rest of my career. My family and I left a good situation at North Forsyth High School, made a lot of personal and financial sacrifices, moved our home into the local area and are very involved in the local youth programs. Additionally, we were able to bring other coaches, with the same vision, and their families into our community where they have already had positive influences. After achieving a record of 9-4 and advancing to state playoff quarterfinals in my first season as the head football coach, I was convinced this is where my family and I were meant to be. As this football season ended, I was very encouraged and excited about the opportunities and potential for the 2013 team with many returning starters and our positive attitude about the future of the program. At your request, I met with you and athletic director, Mark Karen, on Friday, November 16, 2012. During this meeting I was informed that the vision, beliefs and goals I was actively pursuing for the Dacula Football Program were not the same as the vision for the program of the current administration. It was made very clear that you were not willing to offer me the support that is needed to reach the goals that I was originally hired to accomplish. This was very surprising and disturbing as this was the first communication in any way that your vision, beliefs or goals were anything different than the ones I have been actively pursuing.
After much thought and anguish, based on the meeting with you and Mark Karen, it is with a heavy heart and much disappointment that I have no choice but to resign my position as the head football coach at Dacula High School. I would like to thank all of the players, parents, and community for all of their support, effort and commitment as well a tremendous thank you to former Principal Donnie Nutt for giving me the awesome opportunity and responsibility to lead and be a part of such an outstanding program. I wish nothing but success to all of the returning players as well as the entire Dacula football family.
I plan to remain as a member of the Dacula faculty as a teacher. Please accept this letter as my official resignation as the head football coach at Dacula High School.
MOBILE USERS: Click here to view the resignation letter.