by Mike Finnerty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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After six years as head coach for the Woodcreek Timberwolves football team, John Hildebrand decided to step down today and take a break from football.
"Each year you think about it," said Hildebrand, the 34-year old physical education teacher for Woodcreek. "I just had some time with my family recently and it became clear that it was time. It's the right thing for me and my family."
Hildebrand, who is married and has a three-year old daughter, knows all to well the rigors of coaching high school football, but it was not burnout that he faced. Instead, Hildebrand felt that at this time in his life he needed to be with his family, and to perhaps have more children.
"I'm excited to be home both physically and mentally," said Hildebrand. "It takes a lot of hours and I'm just looking forward to the time away."
In 2005, Hildebrand joined the Woodcreek coaching staff as a defensive coordinator under then head coach Robby Robinson. After Robinson left the program following the 2006 season, Hildebrand was elevated to head coach.
Prior to his stint at Woodcreek, Hildebrand played for Pleasant Valley High School in Chico before graduating in 1997. Hildebrand returned to Pleasant Valley as an assistant coach, and was later a graduate assistant coach at Chico State. Hildebrand earned his Masters at Northern Iowa where he coached for two more years before landing at Woodcreek.
Over the past six seasons as head coach for the Timberwolves, Hildebrand's teams had a combined record of 22-41, including 8-22 in the Sierra Foothill League.
Hildebrand was adamant that he has a great relationship with school administration and that he was not forced out of his head coaching position. This was his choice alone.
When asked if he would like to coach again Hildebrand was certain he would be back on the sidelines in the future.
"I would like to think so. It's not easy to step away. I've been coaching for the last 15 years at what has been a pretty intense clip. I'm still young."