Pat Echeverria was hired at his alma mater of Pike High School three years ago with the intention of turning around a program that had enjoyed only intermittent success on the field since joining the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference in 2013.
After three seasons, for a variety of reasons, Echeverria decided he is going to take his coaching career in a different direction.
“I told (athletic director David Paddock) that I couldn’t put my finger on just one thing,” said Echeverria, who added that there was no pressure on him from the administration to resign. “The wins and losses were not what I hoped for when I took the job, but it wasn’t just that. With everything going on with the school district and different challenges I had, I felt like it was time to move on. I didn’t feel like it was the right fit.”
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Echeverria, 43, was 5-25 in his three seasons at Pike. The Red Devils were 1-9 last fall with an upset of Lawrence North in the regular-season finale as their lone victory. Echeverria said a 3-7 season in 2020 was something of a missed opportunity.
“We had an opportunity to win more games and it just didn’t carry over into year three,” he said. “I’m glad I did it. It’s my alma mater. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to. But I still love the kids and feel no ill will at all. It just felt like the right time to move on.”
Echeverria’s wife, Valerie, was hired as the head of radiology at Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg a year ago, which he said played into his decision, too. Echeverria, who is 55-70 overall in 11 seasons, coached five years at Zionsville prior to coming to Pike, winning three sectional titles. He started his coaching career with three seasons and a Class A state finals appearance in 2013 at Eastern Hancock, which does currently have a coaching opening.
Earlier this month, the Pike Township school board voted unanimously to appoint an interim superintendent to replace Flora Reichanadter, who came under criticism after several months of labor disputes between the district and teachers and academic disruptions.
Pike’s football program played in the state championship in 2007 under first-year coach Derek Moyers and won the program’s only other two sectional titles in 2012 and ’13 under Moyers. But the Red Devils have not won a sectional game since 2017 and are only 3-25 in their past 28 conference games.
“The administration treated me fairly,” Echeverria said. “There are things out of my control that frustrated me, but it’s definitely an amicable separation.”
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at 317-444-6649.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IHSAA football: Pat Echeverria steps down as Pike High School coach