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updated: 10/31/2013 11:13 PM

Without a grouse, Grant's Rous heads for the house

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  • Grant coach Kurt Rous has stepped down after leading the Bulldogs to the state playoffs in six of eight seasons.

      Grant coach Kurt Rous has stepped down after leading the Bulldogs to the state playoffs in six of eight seasons.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


The man who's coached triple-option offense has opted for the triples at home.

Ariana is 9 years old, Kylie is 2 (halves count at that age) and Avery is nearly half a year (5 months).

Girls, you win.

Grant football boys, you lose.

Kurt Rous became the latest head coach to step down to spend more time with his family. He revealed his game plan this week to Grant athletic director Dick Knar. Rous, a 1988 graduate of Grant who's coached and taught at his high school alma mater for nearly two decades, directed the Bulldogs' football team for the last eight seasons. He's married to Kirsten, an athletic trainer at Vernon Hills, and the couple has two children, Kylie and Avery, together. Oldest girl Ariana is Rous' stepdaughter.

"I think I'm going to be a dad for a while," Rous said.

Dads with young kids need to be as agile as option quarterbacks, and so the break from coaching should be good for Rous. He may still look physically fit to run around a football field wearing a helmet and pads, but his body is beat up.

"It's going to be tough," Rous said of stepping away from the game he loves. "But I got some health issues, too. I've had both hips done (resurfaced in 2009 and 2010), and I'm probably going to need back surgery."

The latter is due to a herniated disc, Rous said, that he dealt with all season.

"Trying to do the weightlifting with the kids, I can't really do that too much anymore," he said.

Alway sharply dressed in a button-down shirt and tie on the sideline, Rous made sure his football team also had a business approach. His squads were well-prepared and, more often than not, executed on both sides of the ball.

Grant won 50 games in Rous' eight seasons, going to the state playoffs six times, including in 2008 when the Bulldogs advanced to the Class 6A state quarterfinals. They won eight games that season, after going 10-1 in 2007.

"We had some good teams," Rous said. "(Two) games that really stick out in my mind are when we beat Simeon (24-13, in the first round of the playoffs in 2007), when we sat four starters and they had two guys that went Division I, and then the following year when we beat Huntley (28-24, in the second round of the playoffs). That was a great one."

Grant's 2008 playoff-opening, two-overtime, 32-31 win over Vernon Hills -- a week after the Bulldogs lost to the Cougars in Week 9 -- was equally thrilling for Rous' squad.

But besieged by injuries, especially at the quarterback and running back positions, Grant started this season 0-4 before finishing 3-6. By season's end, the Bulldogs were on their fourth starting QB. During the off-season, two-year varsity starter Jonathan Wells, who would have been one of the top running backs in the county, decided not to come out for his senior season.

"It was tough," Rous said. "Our offense was not where it should have been. Our leading rusher had 305 yards. Two years ago, (Kyle) Whitman rushed for 308 in one game."

Rous has been a math teacher for 18 years at Grant. He's also coached track, including a recent four-year run as the boys head coach. He coached girls track for 10 years, as well. As for his future plans, he's uncertain what he'll do.

"I'm going to take some time off," he said. "Will I ever coach football again? I don't know. I wouldn't mind maybe coaching something that my girls will eventually play."

In the meantime, Rous' girls will get a chance to play with daddy.

"I haven't had a real summer vacation in 20-some years with always doing football," he said.

The coach has never had more options than he does now.

• Follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeAguilar64

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