BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- Bill Tracy this week submitted his resignation as Ridge High School's head football coach after 11 seasons at the school.
Tracy's teams were 71-44 during his tenure at Ridge, which included a Section 2, Group 5 championship in 2013, when the team finished an undefeated season with a 12-0 record.
Ridge lost, 42-35, to Clifton in the 2019 Section 2, Group 5 semifinals last Friday in what turned out to be the coach's final game. But Tracy, who submitted his resignation on Monday and released the news to the media two days later, says he knew well before this season was complete that it would be his final one as head coach.
"I knew about halfway through our season that this would be my last," Tracy said, "and that offered a very unique perspective for me of what we were doing each day and more importantly, who we were doing it with. I enjoyed all of our people so much."
Tracy said he arrived at his decision in order to devote more time to his family.
"I would like to be around more for my family," he said. "We have three amazing kids. Our oldest son is a freshman at Virginia Tech, a younger son is a sophomore at Governor Livingston in Berkeley Heights and he plays football and basketball, and our third-grade daughter is a spark plug."
Tracy said he has no ambitions to pursue another head coaching position at the present time, although he might still return to the sport in some capacity.
"I have no plans for a future in coaching, but I could see myself as an assistant someday, providing it allows me to still watch our younger son play football and basketball," Tracy said. "Otherwise, I would put coaching on hold for at least two years."
Before arriving at Ridge in 2009, Tracy, a 1986 graduate of Union High School, was the head coach at Livingston High School in Essex County. Ironically, his 2013 team defeated his alma mater, Union, in the sectional championship game.
"Coaching all of the kids, working with all of those coaches, athletic trainers, and for my athletic directors over the years was such a blessing," Tracy said, "and I know God directed me into those relationships. And, I know now that He is directing it again, so wherever that is, it will all be in a great place. How could it not be? Our administration and parents and booster groups at both Ridge and Livingston were fantastic, as well."
Ridge has posted 8-2 records in three of its last four seasons under Tracy. This year's junior varsity team had an undefeted season.
After Friday's game against Clifton, each player lined up in a procession and received a hug and thanks from the head coach.