One of the best coaches in District 10 history has decided to hang up his whistle.

Pat Gould, the head coach for the Linesville and then Conneaut Area football teams, resigned from the position following his 17th season at the helm. According to athletic director John Acklin, the resignation was not out of the blue. Gould had informed Acklin and the Conneaut School District of his plans before the season started.

“Yeah, he said this was going to be his last year,” said Acklin. “But we thought, or maybe had hoped, he was only joking. After the season, he submitted his formal letter but we did not want to post the position until after the holidays.”

The position was posted on the on Jan. 7. According to a posting found on Facebook, the application deadline is Jan. 20.

Hiring a coach to fill the position will not be an issue for the CSD board. Finding a coach that can fill Gould’s shoes ... that is an entirely different scenario.

The Eagles have been one of the most consistent and competitive football programs since Conneaut Lake, Conneaut Valley and Linesville merged to create Conneaut Area in 2012. In the nine years since the merger, regardless of talent or roster size, Gould was able to get his team ready to take on any and all comers. As a result, the team has never had a losing season, going 60-34 with a .638 winning percentage in that span. In his 17 years as a head coach, Gould posted a 105-62 record.

“And it was all year round,” said Acklin. “He was in charge of conditioning, the weight room. He did everything to keep for this program competitive.”

And there are historic wins as well.

The fastest growing rivalry in the area might very well be Meadville vs. Conneaut Area. That rivalry has been much in the favor of CASH, however. In the 11 meetings of the CASH era, Gould’s team has amassed a 7-4 record against the Bulldogs. Then there was the 2014 District 10 Class AAA championship game against Cathedral Prep in which the Eagles shocked the Ramblers for a 14-7, school unifying crown.

“That was a huge one for the school,” said Acklin, referring to the Prep win, which came in the third season after the unification. “It brought everyone together. From that point on it was not three communities under one roof ... it was one community, one school.”

As big as that win was, it did not shock a lot of people who played against Gould.

“All the schools down south (in Mercer County) knew,” said Acklin. “Whether they Beat Pat’s team or not, it was going to be hard because the kids were going to play hard. That was the way he built his teams.

“(Pat’s) been the rock that held the football program together. I’ve always believed that he is the best coach in District 10. Regardless of the talent he has, he is always competitive and win games. It is a huge loss and it will be extremely tough to replace him.”

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