Yoder steps down from Spartan helm

Dan Yoder has stepped down as coach of the La Cañada High football team after spending the past three seasons as the head coach.

Yoder was hired as La Cañada's varsity football coach in 2009 after serving as the Spartans' junior varsity coach for four years. He told the school's athletic director Craig Franzen he wasn't returning in 2012 last week after realizing he couldn't juggle all his responsibilities.

"It came down to me trying to do two or three full-time jobs," said Yoder, who also teaches history at La Cañada. "I was trying to be a teacher, a football coach and a husband. There are some guys who can do it, but I was having a hard time trying to balance it."

Yoder said he will continue teaching at La Cañada High while he pursues a master's degree and spends more time with his wife.

"For me it's a huge loss," Franzen said. "It was to the point where it was his program and not someone else's. Now we have to start that process all over again and football takes a little longer than other sports for whatever reason."

Franzen said the head coaching position will be offered "in house" to La Cañada High teachers for 10 days, according to labor law. A search will begin after winter break if no one applies within the time period.

"There is a little rush [to find a coach] because you want to have someone in place for spring football," Franzen said. "We'd like to have a coach in place as soon as possible."

Yoder guided the Spartans to a 3-7, 2-3 in Rio Hondo League record this past season. La Cañada just missed out on a possible playoff berth after falling to San Marino on the road, 37-13, on Nov. 10. He led the Spartans to playoff berths in 2009 and 2010.

In his three years at La Cañada, Yoder posted a 13-18 overall and 8-7 in league career record. His finest season came in 2010 when the Spartans finished with a 5-6, 3-2 mark and placed third in league.

"It's been great," Yoder said of his past seven years with La Cañada football. "The community, parents and school have all been really supportive of me. It was a very difficult decision to leave."

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