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Curry steps down after 23 years at Aurora Central
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff

Mike Curry


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Published: 12/11/2009 4:13 PM

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Mike Curry, 23-year head football coach at Aurora Central Catholic and a member of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, has resigned.

The official announcement came Friday but was effective Dec. 2 after Curry met with the Rev. F. William Etheredge, ACC's principal and superintendent.

"Father felt it was time to make a move, and we decided it was probably best that I just step aside," said Curry, whose record with the Chargers was 101-120, but 75-29 from 1988-97.

"It's kind of bittersweet, but life has to go on," Curry said.

Fresh off his 1986 Class 1A state championship at Freeport Aquin, where he coached seven seasons and also won the 1981 1A title, Curry brought to ACC his passion, character and a slew of offensive looks and motion receivers.

"I looked forward to being with the kids, I really did," Curry said. "Practice was a big part of my day, the game a big part of my week, the season a big part of my year."

Success was a big part of his early tenure. Curry led the Chargers to seven playoff appearances including five straight from 1993-97. His 1991 team went 11-1 and reached the 3A quarterfinals; the 1994 team went 10-3, reached the semifinals and earned a spot in the ACC Hall of Fame in 2005.

After a 6-4 record in 1997 the bottom dropped out. The Chargers haven't had a winning season since. This year ACC was 1-8 and 0-4 in the Suburban Christian Blue.

"The bottom line is, if we were in the playoffs this year, this wouldn't have happened," said Curry, who was inducted into the Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

"He's got a heart of gold and wants nothing more than for the kids to be successful," said ACC athletic director Mike Armato, who aims to find Curry's successor by mid-January.

"Father (Etheredge) and the school are very appreciative of what Mike has done for the football program over years and what he continues to do as the divisional head in the social studies department here at school," Armato said. "We're very happy he's continuing to teach. We're looking forward to finding a coach and building a staff that can continue the tradition of ACC football."

Chargers football will look a little different without the mustachioed Curry on the sidelines.

"I enjoyed it," Curry said. "I can honestly admit that in all the days and years I was here coaching I never had an unpleasant experience with the kids. Now, they may not be able to say that, but I didn't.

"It was never a burden to me. I never looked at it as a job, ever. It was a passion."