Paul Rains, who built Lexington Christian Academy's football program into a powerhouse, culminating with a Class A state title last fall, is stepping down after seven years as the Eagles' coach.
"Family and personal issues caught up with me, and it's in my best interest to take a year off," Rains said.
"It's tough, no doubt about it. But it'll give me time to watch my son (Austin) play (at LCA), be a dad on Friday nights, and recharge my batteries."
Rains said his decision to walk away was made easier knowing that Ray Graham will return to take over the LCA program.
Graham joined the Eagles' staff two years ago after 28 years as head coach at Harrison County. Last spring Graham decided he wanted to be a head coach again, and took the top job at Henry County.
But he'll leave the Wildcats to return to LCA.
"This is such a great opportunity for Ray, it's such a good fit for him at LCA, you can't hardly blame him for coming back," Rains said.
"I've talked with most of my staff, and they plan on staying around, too, so it'll be a smooth transition, which is what I want."
Rains, 47, is not done with coaching.
He hopes to be back on the sidelines for the 2011 season, but not at LCA.
"Maybe this is all God's timing for me," he said. "I've got 171/2 years in public education, and my retirement is screwed up. I knew sometime in the future I'd need to go back to public education, and I guess this is it."
Rains, whose previous coaching stops included Madison Central and Montgomery County, came to LCA in 2003 when the program was in its infancy. It didn't take long for him to turn the Eagles into state contenders.
They beat perennial power Beechwood in the second round of the 2005 playoffs, and lost a 38-35 heartbreaker to the Tigers in the 2007 state finals.
LCA made it to the top last year, routing Mayfield 55-19 in the title game to finish with a 14-1 record.
"I accomplished about all I could at LCA," Rains said. "Coming off a state championship, a state runner-up two years ago, and the program's basically on top."
Also, Rains will be departing along with Brad Walls, who is retiring as LCA's athletics director.
"Brad and I kind of came in together, and we were extremely close," Rains said.
"Again, it's like it's God's good timing. Maybe this is all meant to be."