ROCK FALLS – Jay Mammosser resigned as head football coach Tuesday, in the hopes that he can better enjoy moments like those he'll witness tonight at Musgrove Fieldhouse.
At 6 p.m., his wife, Sheila, will coach the Rockets' volleyball against Sterling in a Class 3A regional championship match. Mammosser's daughter, Morgan, is a senior and the reigning SVM volleyball player of the year.
After the Rockets' football team beat Marengo 20-3 in Week 2, Jay was unable to accompany Morgan on a visit to Aurora University.
"I should've been going to visit a school with my daughter, but I couldn't do it, because I had to go over film," Mammosser said.
He also laments not being able to travel to any of his daughter's road matches, and it's situations like those made up Mammosser's mind long before he officially announced it to Rock Falls athletic director Rich Montgomery.
"The bottom line is I'd just like to be Dad," Mammosser said. "I think I could do a better job at that."
He admitted that an 18-63 record over nine seasons played into his decision.
"When you don't win … it's been in the back of my head for a while," Mammosser said. "There's self-doubt after every loss and after every season.
"I want Rock Falls football to succeed so badly. Maybe some fresh blood will do that trick."
Mammosser is hoping to do anything he can to help the program in the future, save for carrying out the engrossing job description of head coach.
"I'm willing to do anything – scouting, coaching, if they want me in the booth, even work on the chain gang," Mammosser said.
His sons, Jacob and Matt Mammosser, are sophomores. The former threw for 2,463 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. The boys' proud papa, who's coached his sons in some capacity since they were fourth-graders, says he's looking forward to watching them exclusively in the future, whereas now he's ardently watching all 11 players on the field at once.
"I don't want to stay in it just for my kids," Mammosser said. "It sounds cliche, but each and every one of those players has become one of my kids."
Mammosser informed his team at halftime of a 29-21 victory over Burlington Central on Oct. 13 at Hinders Field.
He'd already told his captains and, while he didn't plan on letting the rest of the team know, at the moment could not think of a better time to fill them in.
"It was a tight game, but it's not like I said, 'Win one for the fat, bald guy,' " Mammosser said. "And I don't believe by any stretch of the imagination that there was any kid out there who played any harder because of what I said.
"Every decision I've made over the past 9 years, I believe it's been for the team. That's the same with my decision to resign."
While hiring a new coach is Montgomery's responsibility, Mammosser has one ringing endorsement: that Scott Berge be considered. He took over as offensive coordinator before the 2012 season.
"I would love to see him stay in that position, if not take over as the head coach," Mammosser said.