By Jerry Fitzpatrick
Fourth-year Larkin football coach Mike Scianna will step down from that position at the end of this season, he announced Thursday.
Scianna, 46, cited time away from his own children as the reason for his decision. He said he informed the Larkin administration of his intention before the season began in August. Larkin players were told on Monday.
"This decision has been very difficult for me," Scianna said in his resignation letter. "I have been coaching since 1990. I find myself torn between the teams my own kids are on and the teams I coach at Larkin. What keeps waking me up at night is that I should be involved more with my kids giving them instruction and praise. I would like to thank all the people who supported our program."
Larkin (3-3) owns the best overall record of the five Elgin Area School District U-46 high schools heading into Friday's game at Bartlett. The Royals still have a chance to become playoff eligible if they can win 2 of their final 3 games against Bartlett (2-4), St. Charles North (3-3) and St. Charles East (4-2).
Scianna's first two squads finished 3-6, but the Royals slipped to 2-7 last season. His overall record is 11-22 (. 333). Scianna's teams have won the Town Jug game against rival Elgin three straight years. His teams went 3-1 against the Maroons overall.
A 1986 graduate of Streamwood High School and a 1990 graduate of Illinois Benedictine College, Scianna went on to earn his Master's degree in Industrial Technology from Northern Illinois.
He was named to replace Matt Gehrig as coach in 2010, around the same time he lost his teaching position at the school due to a reduction in force. He returned to the Larkin hallways as a Driver's Education teacher in 2012, a position he will retain.
Scianna guided Larkin during a time when low participation numbers threatened the program's health. He inherited a team that had 32 varsity players the previous year, and he weathered an injury plagued 2012 season during which as few as 20 players were available to dress some weeks. The varsity roster grew to 45 this fall with over 100 athletes in the football program overall.
"His passion, his energy and his enthusiasm will be missed," Larkin athletic director Mark Ribbens said. "You want your coaches passionate about their sports and he is. He is making a good decision for himself and his family. I support that and I wish him the best of luck."
Scianna also counts among his accomplishments the establishment of the Jr. Royals youth football feeder program. Finding his replacement is now Ribbens' task.
"At the end of the season, I'll meet with the principal (Dr. Jon Tuin)," Ribbens said. "In a perfect world we will have someone in place, hopefully, by the first of the year. We'll look inside and externally."