Magruder football coach Kevin Bernot has stepped down after two seasons at the helm for the Rockville school.
The 41-year-old Bernot made the decision late last week and cited a lack of connection with his players because he didn’t hold a teaching position at the school. Bernot, who teaches social studies at Rockville High School, originally accepted the position in 2012 with assumption that he would eventually earn a teaching position at Magruder, he said. But that employment opportunity never materialized, and the challenges of not being in the same building each day with his players mounted.
“I felt that the head coach needed to be in the building for academic purposes, athletic purposes, to make a connection with the kids,” Bernot said. “I felt that in the best interest of the kids. . . I felt like now would be the best time.”
Bernot finished 1-9 in each of his two seasons at Magruder, which dressed just 28 varsity players at the end of the 2013 season. He added that he was unable to devote the proper time to monitoring players’ academic progress, and he was unable to watch film with the team because of his commute between Rockville and Magruder every day.
An Olney native, Bernot served as an assistant at Sherwood for five years before taking over the head coaching position at Rockville in 2009. He stayed three years before moving to Magruder, hoping to revitalize a program that went 2-8 in 2011. Bernot pushed for the school to have more of a presence at 7-on-7 tournaments in the spring and college football camps in the summer, which were “a couple of things that we did accomplish,” he said.
“There’s athletes in the building,” Bernot said. “I’m proud of what we did do. I think we could’ve done a lot more. I’m hoping that whoever takes over the program is able to do those things, because the players deserve it.”
Bernot projected that he will land as an assistant at another school in the area next season, and said he’s already been approached by several schools. He is close to Rockville head coach Seth Kenton, he said, and didn’t rule out returning to the school as an assistant.
Magruder Athletic Director Karl Heimbach declined to comment on Bernot’s resignation, although he said the school has already started its search for a new coach and is looking to finalize its decision sometime next month.