After four seasons as Alpena's varsity football coach, Jason Dubey has resigned due to health concerns.
The good news is that it might not be very long before Dubey returns to coaching.
"After going through all the tests, the doctors told me you may want to step down and take some time to relieve some stress," Dubey said. "It's basically a one-year thing to reboot myself and get healthy."
Since having a health scare early last month, Dubey has been improving steadily and will return to teaching beginning in the fall.
Dubey, a 1993 graduate of Alpena, led Alpena to a 4-5 record as a senior and took over his alma mater in 2009 after working under previous coach Jack Gebauer. Dubey was hired away from Atlanta and spent time mostly as an offensive assistant with the Wildcats before taking over as head coach. He finished with a 7-29 record in four seasons.
Gebauer brought Dubey and his friend Steve Zann over from Atlanta when he took over as head coach and said it worked out well for his staff because Dubey loved offense and Zann loved defense.
"It's sad to see him go after four years," Gebauer said of Dubey. "He worked hard and I can't say enough positive things about him."
Asked about his biggest win, Dubey didn't hesitate to name his first win as a coach. The Wildcats stunned Big North Conference rival Traverse City Central 27-21 in overtime during the third game of the 2009 season.
More than the wins however, Dubey said his greatest joy as a coach was the relationships he formed with players and the fact he was able to help kids become better football players.
"I have a lot of great relationships with kids I've coached," Dubey said. "Sometimes there's a kid who may be struggling with one specific skill and then they finally get it. That's the most rewarding thing as a coach."
Though Dubey won't be patrolling Alpena's sideline on Friday nights, whoever does take his place will have quite a bit of talent to work with. Quarterback Brady Marwede, wide receivers Kaleb Smith and Tim Atkinson and running backs Cade MacArthur and Dylan Thrasher are all among Alpena's returners for next season.
"I think whoever takes over will have a lot of talent," Dubey said. "The disappointing thing about the timing (of his resignation) is that with the junior and senior classes, there's a chance to do some great things."
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.